Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you are staying warm and enjoying some time with friends and family during the holidays. In one month I'll be headed back to Olympia for the 60-day session which begins Jan. 13. I encourage you to listen to my interview with KOHO radio here where I discuss my visit in Leavenworth, the importance of tourism in our district, and the bills I'm working on for the 2014 session.
Legislation I have introduced
Before session begins, lawmakers have a chance to “pre-file” bills to give other legislators and the public a chance to review the legislation. Since next year's session is a short 60-day session, I wanted to make sure these important bills have a good chance of passing:
- House Bill 2106 would allow counties to save election dollars by not holding a primary election when just one candidate for a county position has filed to fill an unexpired term. You may have read about an unexpected consequence of a bill passed earlier this year which resulted in great costs for Chelan County. This bill recognizes and fixes that error.
- House Bill 2104 would build upon a bill I sponsored last session which was signed into law to provide more information to the public. This new bill would require capital and transportation projects be linked to the contracts made by the state.
- House Bill 2105 would amend the state's Open Public Meetings Act to require meeting agendas for any public agency with a governing body to be made available online 24 hours before a meeting.
You can read more about these bills in my recent press release.
Open Government Caucus
I've teamed up with Rep. Gerry Pollet to create a bipartisan Open Government Caucus. We believe open government and transparency are crucial to restoring the public's trust and creating a more effective democracy. While I'm not normally a big fan of creating a new caucus or group for just anything, this is something worthwhile that will help ensure the Legislature keeps its eye on transparency at all levels of government, and holds itself accountable to the people. You can read more about the caucus and my other efforts in transparency in this article in The Spokesman-Review.
Last week, I was able to spend some time in Leavenworth, meeting with Mayor Cheri Farivar, City Administrator Joel Walinski and members of the city council (pictured at left – photo courtesy of The Leavenworth Echo).
Then, I met Cascade School District Superintendent Steve McKenna at Osborn Elementary School where we chatted with Principal Renner-Singer and board member Carrie Sorensen.
I was impressed at my meeting with Harriet Bullitt, who donated a sizable amount for the building and opening of the Snowy Owl Theater. Harriet and Leslie Lloyd gave me a personal tour, and I know this theater will be enjoyed by generations to come in movies, dance, theater and other arts.
You can view more photos of my visit to Leavenworth here.
Leavenworth is fantastic place to visit throughout the year and especially during the holiday season. My wife and I (pictured at right) were able to stay for one of the lighting ceremonies and it was truly magical.
As you prepare for the holidays, I hope you are able to spend time with loved ones and reflect on the many blessings we have in this state and country. It is truly a blessing to serve as your representative and get to know so many people in our area and see the great things happening in our classrooms, board rooms and main streets.
Please continue to feel free to contact me anytime with questions, concerns or comments. I hope you'll also forward this e-mail on to friends and family who might also be interested in receiving my short, periodic updates. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000