Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The House Education Committee heard my proposal to provide a model policy for schools following a natural disaster that affects infrastructure. Pateros Superintendent Lois Davies and Jon Wyss, chair of the Carlton Complex Fire Long Term Recovery Group, traveled to Olympia to testify. You can read more and watch the full hearing here. Unfortunately, after the hearing and a conference north of Olympia, Superintendent Davies was traveling home on Stevens Pass and got in a serious collision. She's been in the hospital with her injuries, and I hope you'll join me in keeping her in our thoughts and prayers for a full recovery.
On Monday, the House Education Committee voted unanimously to move my School Infrastructure Recovery Bill out of the committee and on to the House Rules Committee for consideration for the House floor calendar, where it could receive a vote by the entire House of Representatives. I'm pleased to have the committee's support on this bill that I pre-filed in December, and that this is the first bill the committee has supported this year.
Recent News of Interest:
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- Rep Hawkins Introduces Carlton Complex Fire Bill (KPQ-AM)
- Pateros damage prompts bill for schools hit by natural disasters (KING 5)
- My interview on TVW about legislation as a result of the wildfires (Washington's public affairs station)
Watch my recent video update where I give a tour of my office in Olympia and discuss my goals for the session.
Today, the House held work sessions on the wildfires that affected our area. Locals from Okanogan County testified on what went right, and what lessons can be learned in both the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee. Everyone representing the recovery group has done an outstanding job and I've been proud to work with them.
Also today, a public hearing was held on my Carlton Complex Fire
Economic Recovery Bill. I appreciated having an opportunity to make the case for using an existing fund to provide some economic recovery for Okanogan County and each of the people testifying gave compelling evidence for the need for the funding. You can read about the hearing here. We are working hard to take our message about recovery to the highest levels of the Legislature and state government. I am very thankful and appreciative of the welcome we are receiving, including from the Speaker of the House today.
During House floor debate, the House adopted an amendment to the 2013-15 budget that included $1.2 million from the operating budget for recovery funding. In my opinion, this is what a supplemental budget should be used for – addressing
emergencies that arise. I will continue to work with the recovery effort to obtain more support from the state to help residents and businesses so dramatically affected by the fire.
As always, please feel free to contact my office anytime with questions, concerns or suggestions. It's an honor to serve you.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000