Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the last reminder to please join your 9th District legislators at our upcoming telephone town hall. Sen. Mark Schoesler, Rep. Mary Dye and I will be hosting the one-hour event on Monday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Those wishing to call in can dial 1-800-269-1146. You can even participate online by going to listen.townhallinteractive.com and use 742951 as the PIN. I hope you are able to join us.
As we all know, our state has been devastated by wildfires the last two years. Last year alone, more than one million acres burned. We are taking the lessons learned during these difficult times to bring solutions to the table to prevent and respond to wildfires in the future.
Rep. Mary Dye and I are sponsoring bipartisan legislation that would create the Local Wildland Fire Severity Account in the state Department of Natural Resources which can then be accessed by local authorities responding to wildfires. Another bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Joel Kretz, would establish prescribed burning pilot projects and make technical changes to the permitting process for prescribed burning to ease the system for burn technicians. Other wildfire-related bills have been proposed to direct the State Fire Marshal to develop a statewide prefire mitigation plan, use GPS technology to protect the safety of wildland firefighters, and allow livestock owners to access public property in order to reclaim stray livestock in fire suppression scenarios.
I have several bills still alive in the legislative process, now that we have passed the cutoff date for bills out of the House of origination. All four of these bills that I prime sponsored passed the House and are now before the Senate for their further consideration. They include one to help small businesses currently bearing the brunt of the high-risk Washington State Health Insurance Pool; one to increase the quality of care in our nursing homes; one to make certain stand-alone family dental plans are available for consumers in the future; and one to help the city of Pasco finance some of their public improvements. I'll have more information on these bills as the session progresses.
Gold Star Kids
This week, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse visited Olympia to help bring awareness to his to help military families. Jermaine grew up on a military base and knows the struggles and challenges faced by families of service members. He foundation seeks to “support and inspire youth in military families to work hard, persevere and believe in order to overcome adversity and find success through positive choices, experiences and opportunity.” While in Olympia, he was joined by several Gold Star kids – children of a fallen U.S. service man or woman. Thank, Jermaine, for all your work for our military families!
Thank you for reading my e-newsletter. Again, I hope you're able to join us at our telephone town hall meeting next week. Until then…