(360) 786-7686|Steve.Hobbs@leg.wa.gov

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    Hobbs co-sponsors pair of bills aimed at securing 777x contract

Hobbs co-sponsors pair of bills aimed at securing 777x contract

November 7th, 2013|

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, on Thursday signed on to co-sponsor a pair of bills aimed at securing the construction of Boeing’s 777x here in Washington.

“This is the first step in what will hopefully be a quick process that results in tens of thousands of jobs being created in Snohomish County and throughout the region,” Hobbs said. “I think when the rest of my colleagues realize what’s at stake, they will follow suit.”

The first bill will extend the expiring commercial airplane tax incentives through 2040. Highlights of the second bill will expand community and technical college enrollments in aerospace fields, train workers to fabricate composite wings and expand existing aerospace facilities in Snohomish County and elsewhere in the state.

“This shows Boeing and its workforce that we are serious about securing the 777x, but not only that, it shows that we are committed to creating the jobs that a 21st century economy demands,” Hobbs said. “This will also solidify Snohomish County’s and Washington State’s heritage and standing as the worldwide leader in aerospace manufacturing.”

Sen. Steve Hobbs named to 777x Legislative Task Force

October 7th, 2013|

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was named recently to a task force established to determine the best methods to help Washington state convince Boeing to build the new 777x airplane here.

The task force – which includes legislators from both parties, as well as labor leaders, business interests and representatives from the aerospace community – held its first meeting on Oct. 2.

“The hard truth that Democrats, Republicans, business and labor are going to have to realize is that towing the party line is not going to work here,” Hobbs said. “Compromise is going to be the only way we create the environment necessary to allow our state’s aerospace industry to continue to thrive.”

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    Sen. Hobbs joins local leaders at US 2 Bickford Ave. overpass ribbon cutting

Sen. Hobbs joins local leaders at US 2 Bickford Ave. overpass ribbon cutting

September 17th, 2013|

A project to improve safety and keep Washington drivers moving was unveiled Sept. 13 and opened to motorists Monday.

Sen. Steve Hobbs joined other local leaders Friday for the ribbon cutting of the new Bickford Avenue overpass onto US 2 in Snohomish County. Prior to the improvements, westbound drivers had to turn left across two lanes of oncoming traffic to merge on to US 2. Since 2006, two dozen accidents were reported in this area.

“This is an important safety improvement and I applaud the work of Congressman Rick Larsen, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the WSDOT for working together to get this done on time and on budget, “ Hobbs said. “Improvements like these are good for commerce and commuters alike.”

Federal funding and a grant from the WTSC account for the $22.4 million project. Improvements also include better lighting and drainage. New on- and off-ramps for eastbound traffic also were built as part of the project and are scheduled to open in the next two weeks.

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    Sen. Hobbs: “Sen. Jean Berkey was what a legislator should be”

Sen. Hobbs: “Sen. Jean Berkey was what a legislator should be”

August 27th, 2013|

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, issued the following statement after learning of the passing of Sen. Jean Berkey. Berkey, who served 10 years in the legislature and six in the Senate, died Aug. 21 following a brief illness:

“Sen. Berkey was a great advocate for seniors, open government, affordable health care and education. We have lost a true champion for these important issues.

“Jean did a great deal to help me find my footing when I first arrived in Olympia. In her, I and other moderate Democrats found an experienced and effective legislator that we could model our own methods after.

“She was an original member of the Roadkill Caucus and helped shape our group’s priorities and made us an effective voice of reason in a sometimes overly partisan environment.

“Jean Berkey was what a legislator should be – attentive, willing to compromise and passionate.”

Sen. Hobbs selected as a 2013 Champion for Children’s Health

August 2nd, 2013|

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was named one of the Children’s Alliance’s 2013 Legislative Champion for Children’s Health on Thursday.

Hobbs, who was also honored by the Children’s Alliance in 2012, was selected this year for his work to fully restore the Apple Health for Kids program as part of the final budget. The program, which Hobbs has fought to protect over the last several years, ensures that all kids get equitable access to health care by paying the same monthly premium as other families at the same income level.

“Immigrant kids have been unfairly subject to higher monthly premiums, causing four out of 10 to lose coverage,” says Paola Maranan, executive director of the Children’s Alliance. “Sen. Hobbs’ work affirms the fact that no Washington child should go without a vaccination or a life-saving procedure simply because of where they come from.”

Each year the Alliance singles out legislators who they determine took critical stands for children during the last legislative session. Hobbs was one of eight legislators honored for their work during the 2013 session. You can view the entire list here.

Sen. Hobbs’ budget deal aimed at strengthening state’s green business, renewable energy

July 1st, 2013|

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, worked a last-minute deal with budget writers Friday to include language in the 2013-15 operating budget which extends a tax break to businesses on the purchase of equipment and machinery used in the production of renewable energy.

This aspect of the budget became law Sunday with Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.

Hobbs worked closely with green businesses and the environmental community in crafting the language of the proviso, which received praise from Gary Shaver, President and CEO of Silicon Energy, LLC in Marysville.

“We’re very appreciative of the efforts Sen. Hobbs is making in encouraging our industry in Washington,” he said. “We’re at a point in our growth where we’re looking at every factor when determining the best ways to expand our business. This will help in that process.”

This break for manufacturers of wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy will help strengthen Washington’s standing as a leader in green energy and assist businesses hoping to expand and create additional jobs.

“Thanks to the leadership and dogged determination of Sen. Hobbs, this budget ensures continuation of the renewable sales and use tax exemption,” said Clifford Traisman, who represents the Washington Environmental Council and Renewable Northwest Project. “This tax policy has been one of the state’s key tools in spurring the current $8 billion in renewable energy investment throughout Washington State.  Due to the efforts of Sen. Hobbs, it will continue to be a necessary tool in Washington’s ongoing efforts to develop clean, affordable, renewable energy sources.”

“Our state has led the way in green technology and the extension of this tax break for businesses developing renewable energy is a great way to maintain that standing,” Hobbs said, “but even more importantly, it strengthens the sometimes delicate balance between job creation and environmental protection.”

Sen. Hobbs honored as Legislator of the Year by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

June 12th, 2013|

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was selected this week as the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance’s Legislator of the Year.

Hobbs earned this recognition in part for his work on the Fair Tenant Screening Act, Part 2 (Senate Bill 5568) which eliminates barriers to housing for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Because of the bill, which was signed by Gov. Inslee on April 23, it will soon be illegal for tenant screening companies to report on a housing applicant’s status as a survivor of these crimes, protecting them from potentially discriminatory housing practices.

“My hope is this bill will help the transition from domestic violence a little less difficult,” Hobbs said. “Victims of domestic violence have been through more than many of us can imagine. There’s no reason to relive that horror while looking for a home.”

“As the lead sponsor, Sen. Hobbs tirelessly steered this bill through a tumultuous session and we thank him for focusing his efforts on this important issue,” said Rachael Myers, Executive Director of the Low Income Housing Alliance.

Guest Editorial by Sen. Hobbs: Voting my conscience and for my district’s beliefs

May 22nd, 2013|

The guest editorial below was written by Sen. Steve Hobbs and was published on May 21 in the Lake Stevens Journal. You can also read the article here.

Lake Stevens is more than a place I live. It’s a community my family and I are proud to call home.

I went to kindergarten here and graduated from Lake Stevens High School. Following my active duty stint in the Army, I returned to Lake Stevens to raise my family. I wanted my kids to grow up in the same town I did and share in the same love of community service I learned here. It is an honor and privilege to represent my childhood home and serve our community as your senator.

I have always felt that a legislator should not only vote his or her conscience, but should vote in a way that is representative of his or her district. As you know, ours is a swing district with an equal amount of Republicans and Democrats which is why the 44th is represented in Olympia by a trio of legislators with diverse political views.

That’s why I vote the way I do in Olympia. It’s also why I’ve become a target of outside special interest groups that have descended on our district, specifically on our hometown of Lake Stevens, because our political agenda is not in lockstep with their political agenda.

These groups share many of the same beliefs as you and I. But because we believe in a different approach toward some of our shared goals, these outside groups have inundated our community with phone calls, emails, and even knocks on your door to mislead you about my priorities and values.

I am a moderate—some have even jokingly called me a radical moderate—which I believe is an accurate way to represent our district. As a moderate I believe no one party holds the deed to good ideas, but my moderate beliefs and actions make me a consistent target of special interest groups on the extreme fringes of both the left and right.

These far left and far right fringe groups are well funded and well organized. But don’t be fooled by glossy handouts and well-rehearsed talking points. If you ever have a question about why I voted the way I did, please contact me directly.

We are proud of our independent spirit in Lake Stevens. We don’t allow outside special interest groups or their money to dictate our beliefs. I will continue to represent you and your family in Olympia in a way that reflects our values in Lake Stevens and Snohomish County as a whole.

You are the only special interest group I am beholden to.

Sen. Steve Hobbs is serving his second term in the State Senate, representing all or parts of Lake Stevens, Mill Creek, Everett, Marysville, Snohomish and unincorporated Snohomish County. You can reach Sen. Hobbs at his Lake Stevens office at 425-334-2092 or at his Olympia office at 360-786-7686.

Hobbs’ “Facebook Bill” signed by Gov. Inslee

May 21st, 2013|

A bill that will protect the privacy of Washingtonians who wish to keep their social media passwords to themselves and away from their employers was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Senate Bill 5211, sponsored by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, would make it illegal for any employer or potential employer in the state to request a password or any related account information for the purpose of gaining access to any social networking site maintained by a current or prospective employee.

Aspects of the bill, which Hobbs first proposed during the 2012 legislative session, were negotiated by the ACLU and business and tech interests. You can view a complete rundown of protections contained within the bill here.

“I’m pleased that all sides were able to come together, work out their differences and agree on a bill that protects everyone involved,” Hobbs said. “Privacy shouldn’t be a thing of the past that we are forced to sacrifice every time technology moves forward.”

Washington is now the eighth state to have this type of law on the books. Similar measures are being considered in 33 other states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Governor signs Hobbs’ bill encouraging use of specialty courts to aid returning veterans

May 15th, 2013|

Current research indicates one in five veterans suffer from some type of behavioral health issue once they return to civilian life.

Which is why Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, sponsored Senate Bill 5797 which encourages the use of specialty courts in the state, with an emphasis on the use of Veterans Treatment Courts. The bill was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday.

“The transition back to civilian life can be a difficult one for our veterans,” said Hobbs, who served in the conflicts in Iraq and Kosovo. “The issues facing our veterans are hard to understand for someone who hasn’t gone through it. My hope is that by encouraging the use of courts that specialize in the issues facing our veterans we can help ease that transition.”

VTCs are located in Clark, Thurston, Spokane, Pierce and King Counties. These courts provide opportunities for rehabilitation, rather than incarceration, for veterans and service members experiencing behavioral health problems.

Specialty courts exist in 24 counties and address a variety of issues including mental health, substance abuse, truancy, homelessness and domestic violence to name just a few. Studies have shown that the use of specialty courts result in lower levels of recidivism.