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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This week has been a busy week here in Olympia. Yesterday was the cutoff date for bills to pass the House for consideration in the Senate. Fortunately, two of my bills (House Bill 1003 and House Bill 1752) successfully passed the House and are now being considered in the Senate. In fact, both bills received public hearings today.
House Bill 1003 was approved by the House on Jan. 27 by a vote of 96 to 1. This bill would pull state resources and agencies together to develop a model policy to guide school districts following natural disasters, such as wildfires, mudslides, and earthquakes. The legislation is in response to the Pateros School District, which suffered more than $2 million of damage to its only school building during the Carlton Complex Fire in 2014. Click here to read more about House Bill 1003.
I was pleased that House Bill 1003 received a hearing this morning. More importantly, I am thankful that the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee was willing to accommodate my request to allow video-conference testimony from the Pateros School District. This was an idea from Superintendent Lois Davies. Thanks to the good help from the staff at North Central Educational Service District, we were able to make this happen!
Pateros School District Superintendent Lois Davies testifies by video-conference before the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.
The Senate has been allowing limited remote testimony in other committees, but this is the first time this particular committee has allowed it. As you know, travelling to Olympia during the winter is difficult for many constituents because of the distance and terrain. This results in constituents from the west side of the state being more visible in the legislature. My hope is that today's testimony will create more opportunities in the future for educators in our area to have their voices heard in Olympia.
Another bill of mine that received a hearing today was House Bill 1752. This bill passed the House last Thursday, Feb. 11, by a vote of 92 to 4. A chief examiner is a staff-level, non-elected position usually within a county's human resources division. Under current law, a county's chief examiner must reside within the county. House Bill 1752 would relieve counties of this strict residency requirement by allowing employees who serve in this role to live within the county or an adjacent county. Click here to read more about House Bill 1752.
Left to right: Cathy Mulhall, Chelan County Administrator, Rep. Hawkins, Chelan County Commissioner Keith Goehner, Katie Batson, Human Resources Director
Education Roundtable Town Hall
We rarely have breaks in the legislative process but when we do, I welcome the opportunity to come home and connect with constituents. A window of time recently came together to participate in an Education Roundtable Town Hall discussion at the North Central Educational Service District Building this Friday, Feb. 19 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Click here to view more information.
Traveling to Olympia to share your thoughts in person is a big commitment, so please consider coming to Wenatchee to share your thoughts with me. If not, feel free to contact my office anytime with questions or comments.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000