Thank you very much to everyone who attended the town hall meeting last Saturday at the Vancouver Public Library. We had a great turnout and it was terrific to see so many community members engaged and interested in issues that affect our community and our quality of life.

2014 Legislative Session begins

As your state senator from Vancouver and the 49th Legislative District, I remain honored and humbled to continue to serve you and our community. I believe that all members of our community should have access to quality education, quality health care and quality jobs. This year, with only 60 days in the session, we have a limited amount of time to complete our work. I look forward to working with my colleagues and you to help make our community healthier and stronger.

New committee assignments

I am very pleased to announce that I have been appointed to a seat on the Senate Transportation Committee. Our state, and our region in particular, needs to see a financial commitment that invests in our transportation infrastructure system. Leaders from all four caucuses in the Legislature and Gov. Inslee have been working on this issue over the course of the last year. As a member of the Transportation Committee, I will be able to lend my voice and the Clark County perspective as we address our transportation needs. We can’t have healthy communities if we are stuck in traffic getting to school, to work and to medical appointments. We can’t move forward if we can’t move.

In addition to serving on the Transportation Committee, I will continue to serve on the Early Learning, K-12 Education and Health Care committees.

Continued support for replacing the antiquated I-5 bridges

Last week the Oregon State Legislature held an interim committee meeting to discuss the Columbia River Crossing (CRC). I am pleased that Oregon has not given up on this critical project and continues to move forward with meaningful discussion. The work in the weeks, months and years to come will not be easy; however, a majority of Washington state legislators stand in support of the CRC and Oregon’s commendable efforts to not give up on this vital project.

Our states have a shared, vested interest in a positive outcome of this critical project. U.S. Senator Patty Murray recently secured $65 million in the omnibus appropriations bill that just passed in Congress. This money cannot be used for anything but the replacement of the antiquated I-5 bridges and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the river to come to a positive conclusion.

We all have a stake in what happens here in our state capitol and I hope you will contact me, my office or visit my website if you have a comment, concern or question. You are an integral part to the democratic process and I hope to hear from you.

Until next time,