Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On New Year's Day, I was sworn in as your new Washington state representative. It is an honor to represent you in our beautiful state House of Representatives. I am very thankful for this opportunity to serve you.
The 2015 session began Jan. 12 in Olympia and the constitution provides 105 days for the Legislature to set a two-year operating budget. I am working hard to make our state more welcoming to new businesses and increase job opportunities, as well as helping the government live within the tax revenues that come out of our pockets.
Please watch my video update where I discuss what I'm working on from my office. I also record a weekly podcast that is sent to our local radio stations providing listeners with an update on what's happening in Olympia. Listen to my recent recording here.
In my first five days on the job, I began work on six projects* to assist our beautiful district:
- The Gorge Commission – looking at our agreement with the state of Oregon to ensure fairness and provide appropriate funding for the work of the Commission.
- The use of drones in Washington – balancing privacy with important technology safety opportunity uses such as viewing forest fires from the air to determine home danger, or rescues.
- The empty Yakima County jail – I toured the jail on Saturday, and I'm working with the Department of Corrections and Yakima County officials to find a solution that would put the facility in operation.
- Renewable energy options for local public utility districts.
- Revenue sources for Skamania County – Land use options. Eighty five percent of the land in Skamania County is not taxable by the county. This dramatically affects the county's budget to fund education and other basic services. I am working with Skamania officials to see if I can obtain help from the legislature.
- Twin Bridges Museum in Lyle – At the request of a wonderful constituent, I've submitted a capital budget request for funding of a new heating system for this local museum. It is important to preserve our local history in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. I recently toured the museum, and was impressed with what tourists and locals can learn about our forefathers. I encourage you to visit with your families or school group.
*These projects are driven by your communications to my office. If you have an idea for legislation you would like to see proposed, rejected or need, please ask. I am happy to help you.
I need your assistance. My job in Olympia is to represent you! I hope you will share your thoughts on two proposals recently before me:
My door is open to hear what you have to say – please feel free to contact my office anytime. My information is below. I also invite and encourage you to come to Olympia, visit our beautiful Capitol building and see your government in action! I will always set aside time for constituents on my calendar. It is truly an honor to serve you.
Honored to serve you,