E-newsletter- Protecting the Spokane River

June 25th, 2014|

Protecting the Spokane River

Safeguarding the Spokane River is a priority for our community and has been one of my legislative priorities over the past four years. In that work, I often end up viewing the river through the lens of parts per million of PCBs or tons of phosphorous, so it was a pleasure last week to experience the river up close during an evening float with my daughter and The Spokane Riverkeeper, Bart Mihailovich.

This month, we’ve seen significant momentum towards a cleaner and healthier Spokane River. Following on legislation passed by the Legislature last session, the Spokane City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that requires the city make PCB-free purchases. Both the City and State measures will help reduce the amount of harmful PCBs in the Spokane River. Thank you to Council President Ben Stuckart and the City of Spokane for being the first city to take this step.

In addition, Avista is stepping up their process to replace old transformers containing PCBs. While the work has been going on for a long time, they’re moving more quickly by spending $36 million with the goal of having it completed by 2016. It is great to see this proactive approach to improve our water quality.

Summer Learning Loss op-ed

Studies have shown that 2/3 of the opportunity gap for low-income students is caused by summer learning loss during their elementary school years. As a state we are taking steps to address this issue and I applaud Governor Inslee for declaring June 20th as Washington Summer Learning Day. You can read my op-ed on summer learning loss in the Spokesman-Review HERE.

Mobile Offices

Thank you to everybody who attended our 3rd Legislative Mobile Offices last month at Indaba Coffee and Chairs Public House. My seatmates, Representatives Ormsby & Riccelli, and I received comments and questions on a range of topics.

I appreciated all of the thoughtful input from everyone that attended. Whether you were able to make it to a mobile office meeting or not, I encourage you to stay in touch.

Keeping In Touch

If you have a comment, idea, question or an invitation for me to attend an event or tour a business/organization in Spokane, please let me know. I would love to hear from you! You can reach me by e-mail (andy.billig@leg.wa.gov) or by phone at 509-209-2427. And if you know someone who would like to get their own copy of my weekly e-newsletter, tell them they can go to my website at http://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/billig/ and click on the link to “Sign up for my e-newsletter.”