Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2016 legislative session is in full swing! I am very honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as your state representative in the 9th District. I continue to work hard on the issues that face our district and our state. One challenge that we regularly see within our district is transportation. Being that our district is six counties long, I definitely face these challenges firsthand as I travel around our local streets, bridges and roads. I will continue to focus on creating opportunities for these challenges.
It is with excitement that I share this news – I have introduced by first bills as a legislator! What does that mean? In short, it means that I have sponsored several bills that I am hoping will move through the legislative process and be adopted as Washington state law.
As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my update. I encourage you to get in touch with me with any comments, questions or concerns. Please feel free to share my email updates with your family, friends and neighbors, and encourage them to subscribe. They can do so by clicking here. I recommend that you follow my Sound Cloud page to listen to my audio updates from Olympia. You can do so by clicking here. I also welcome you to come visit me in Olympia! It is always exciting to see the great people of our district!
My bills in the Transportation Committee
The movement of agricultural equipment and commodities is an issue that tends to face a lot of constituents in our district. I have introduced legislation that would alleviate some of these challenges.
HB 2611 is a bill that will allow vehicles to exceed a certain weight limit by up to two thousand pounds when utilizing public highways that are not part of the federal-aid interstate system and are carrying an agricultural commodity. With so many farms, food processing and distribution companies in our district, it is important that we make sure these goods can be transported safely and effectively throughout our state. I'm also very excited to say that this bill has been scheduled for its first public hearing this week!
HB 2807 is a bill that will require the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to designate portions of state route 128 and 193 as a heavy haul industrial corridor for overweight vehicles. WSDOT has ruled that this route is fit for heavy haul vehicles which is helpful for the larger trucks with bigger cargo loads that travel throughout Washington and toward Idaho.
SR 26 and its impact on the community
On a heavier note, I was devastated to hear about the students who tragically lost their lives this past winter on SR 26 and Hwy 195. I continue to send my thoughts and prayers to their families and friends. Thankfully, the Transportation Package that we passed last session gives funding to lane expansions on these highways in an attempt to make the road safer.
Traveling to and from Olympia
It is always exciting to see constituents and groups who come to visit me in Olympia. I always greatly appreciate it when different people from all over the 9th make the long trek from eastern Washington to the Capitol!
Recently, one of the groups that I had the pleasure of meeting was the Vikotic Robotics Team from Garfield Palouse High School. I had the opportunity to interact with these great, smart kids and find out what inspired them to join a STEM program. The team is getting ready to compete with schools throughout the state by building a robot that will have to perform different tasks to earn the team points. I wish them all the best of luck in their competition!