Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're halfway through the 2016 legislative session, and things are moving fast so lawmakers can adjourn on time by March 10. This week, both chambers are on the floor passing legislation before the “house of origin” cutoff takes effect Feb. 17.
I provide an explanation of cutoff and a brief update on session in my latest video update here:
A few of my bills are still moving through the legislative process:
Watershed improvement districts: This bill would allow watershed improvement districts to apply for a permit to conduct drainage maintenance, and would thereby remove some burdens from the county while improving water quality.
Powers of the Dairy Products Commission: This legislation was requested by the Department of Agriculture, and would allow the Commission to conduct research related to dairy nutrients as commercial products.
Fire sprinkler systems: This bill would prevent water-sewer districts from prohibiting the use of multipurpose fire sprinkler systems for single-family homes or townhouses. Use of these sprinklers is an efficient means to connect to potable water, and reduces costs for home-builders and developers.
In addition to these, I have been receiving some questions from constituents and media about a bill before the Legislature related to water discharge permits for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). I also chatted with Dillon Honcoop about the issue on KGMI morning radio last Saturday. Listen here. The House bill will likely not advance but the Senate version is still up for consideration.
Meeting with Whatcom neighbors
This session, I've had the privilege of meeting with a number of farmers, business owners, schools and students, and others from Whatcom County. It's an honor knowing folks have taken time out of their busy schedules to travel all the way down to Olympia to meet with me.
Last week, the Washington State Dairy Federation Dairy Ambassadors were in Olympia for “Dairy Day” at the Capitol, which focuses on the importance of the dairy industry to our state economy. Whatcom County Dairy Ambassador Jana Plagerman joined the group, and I was even able to meet up with her for an impromptu violin duet in the rotunda of the Legislative Building.
There are less than 30 days left of the legislative session, but if you are able to make it down to the Capitol for a visit, please contact my office so we can set up a time to meet.
Your 42nd District legislative team continues to work at the state-level with Alcoa and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to achieve affordable energy prices that could keep Alcoa operational. Sen. Doug Ericksen, Rep. Luanne Van Werven and I sent a bipartisan letter to BPA in hopes to collaborate on a solution to save Alcoa and the jobs of hundreds of Whatcom County residents. You can read that letter here.
Join me for a town hall meeting
Your 42nd District legislators will be holding a town hall event Friday, Feb. 19, and we invite you to join us for this community event. We look forward to hearing from you and providing an update on the 2016 legislative session.
Friday, Feb. 19, 1 – 3 p.m.
Rotary Building, Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center
1775 Front St., Lynden, WA 98264
Thank you for reading this update. Please continue reaching out to me to share your ideas, questions and concerns. It's an honor serving you.