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Hobbs selected chair of Senate Transportation Committee

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Hobbs on Monday was selected chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Hobbs has served as the lead Democrat on the Transportation Committee since 2014. The Lake Stevens lawmaker was a key architect of the transportation infrastructure investment package and for years has delivered transportation improvement projects throughout Snohomish County.

“I’m humbled by this opportunity and excited to continue my work on behalf of Snohomish County and the entire state,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs will also continue serving on the Senate’s Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee as well as the Energy, Environment & Technology Committee.

November 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Hobbs: Monumental day for students, teachers and health care access

Hobbs: Monumental day for students, teachers and health care access

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, issued the statement below following the passage of the McCleary school funding plan which included language adding classified school employees and other professional staff into a new health care program, the School Employee Benefit Board.

“For many of the men and women who work in our schools, health care costs are a burden, one that presents the awful choice between a doctor and a mortgage, or a doctor and putting food on the table.

“For young teachers and for the men and women who work right alongside our teachers – bus drivers, lunch room workers, para-educators and others – health care costs are unaffordable. These people serve a critical role in every school across our state. Despite this, these people have endured an inefficient, unfair and above all else – unaffordable – health care system for themselves and their families.

“But now, they will soon have one system. It will be fair and it will be affordable. These people work hard for our kids every single day. They deserve a fair system that works for them and works for their family and their kids. This is the right thing to do.

“The fact that this legislation comes as part of the single largest investment in our students and teachers in the history of our state is icing on the cake. I was proud to vote yes on a plan that will put $7.3 billion in schools across Washington in teachers, special education and additional investments in low-income students.

“I am a parent of three boys, one of which has graduated from our public schools and two more who soon will. Today I’m most pleased for the work we have done on behalf of all the students, all the teachers and all the parents who will soon send their children to schools that truly provide a world-class education for every kid.”

For more information on the issue facing classified school employees, click here.

June 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Road, safety improvements coming to region

Investments in transportation projects throughout Snohomish County and areas throughout the region were included as part of the transportation budget that cleared the Senate last week.

“Our region is one of the fastest growing in the state and our infrastructure must keep up with our communities,” said Sen. Steve Hobbs, the lead Democratic transportation budget writer. “With these investments, we will keep our corner of the state moving, our economy thriving and our families safe.”

Investments in bike and pedestrian projects, safe routes to schools, and improvements to transportation infrastructure throughout the county and surrounding areas are included in the transportation budget.

Here’s a closer look at the project list:

Region wide: $250,000 is provided solely for a voluntary pilot program to expand public private partnership CTR incentives to make measurable reductions in off-peak, weekend and non-work trips. Ridesharing may be integrated into grant proposals. The department shall prioritize grant applications that focus on the I-90 or I-405 corridors. $250,000

Edmonds: Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector. Funding to begin Edmonds Waterfront Connector. Constructs a 16-foot wide single lane access that connects Edmonds Street to the Edmonds waterfront by going over the BNSF railroad tracks. Will allow ferry off-loading and on-loading to occur during blockages of the City’s two at-grade crossings. Provide 24-7 access to the waterfront for emergency response vehicles and provides better access for non-motorized users to get to the City’s waterfront parks and other attraction. $700,000

Edmonds: SR 99 Revitalization. Advances $1 million from 21-23 to 17-19 for the start of the project. $1M

Lake Stevens: 91st Ave. SE & 4th St. SE improvements. Project includes sidewalk, Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramps, striping, signs, bike lane, curb, gutter, planter strip and retaining walls. $466,500

Lake Stevens: SR 9/4th St. NE Access project. Will help the interchange better accommodate peak-hour traffic and reduce clogging and lineups of vehicles/freight; Will better accommodate multi-modal trips, improvements, and connections. $420,000

Lake Stevens: US 2 Trestle. Funding for a study that details a cost estimate for replacing the westbound U.S. 2 Trestle and recommends a series of financing options to address that cost and to satisfy debt service requirements. The committee shall complete the study and submit a final report and recommendations to the transportation committees of the legislature, including recommendations on statutory changes needed to implement available financing options, by December 1, 2017. $100,000

Lake Stevens: US 2 Trestle. Re-channelization of existing westbound roadway system to provide a priority bypass route for HOV and transit trips. $1.8M

Marysville: Centennial Trail Connector. Phase III to construct the remaining one-mile of paved asphalt trail from 84th St. NE north to connect to the regional Centennial Trail system. $500,000

Mill Creek: 35th St. Improvement Project. 35th Avenue SE is a three lane minor arterial that carries approximately 15,000 vehicles per day. The road was widened by Snohomish County in 2003 by using lightweight fill on top of a large peat deposit, and has been continually settling since annexation by the City in 2005. $4.0 million was included in the 2015 State Transportation funding package for the City of Mill Creek for the reconstruction of 35th Avenue SE between 144th Street SE and 141st Street SE.  $750,000

Mill Creek: SR 527 Pedestrian Safety Project (The Parker & Quincy Memorial Pathway) To construct sidewalks along SR 527 from the Seattle Hill Road intersection to the 180th Street SE intersection, and to install a traffic signal and crosswalk near Seattle Hill Road and SR 527 in Bothell. $800,000

Maltby: SR 522 Paradise Rd. Community Outreach and Practical Design for SR 522 Paradise Road Interchange and Widening. $750,000

Snohomish: 2nd St. Pedestrian and Bicycle improvements. Design-only project includes 90 percent design for curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands, bike routes and realigned parking. $323,000

April 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Lake Stevens wins big in Capital Budget

Two projects – one designed to keep up with Lake Stevens’ growing population and the other to ensure Snohomish County kids have a place to go – were funded in the state’s Capital Budget, Sen. Steve Hobbs announced Thursday.

The Lake Stevens Civic Center project received a huge boost with $3.1 million in funding. This is on top of an initial $309,000 investment in last year’s supplemental state budget. The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2019.

Hobbs also worked to secure a $120,000 grant for the expansion of the Lake Stevens Boys & Girls Club to include a new 2,000 square foot Teen Center. There are currently 2,124 members of the Lake Stevens Boys & Girls Club, 24 percent of which are teenagers.

“Lake Stevens is one of the fastest growing communities in Snohomish County and we need to make sure that funding and our facilities keep up with that fact,” Hobbs said. “The Civic Center will be the centerpiece of downtown Lake Stevens for years to come and a hub of civic engagement and economic activity.

“Just as important is investing in our kids,” Hobbs added. “Providing teenagers with mentors and a place to go will foster their positive development and a brighter future for us all.”

The Capital Budget is scheduled to be voted off the Senate floor today.

March 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Hobbs’ bill helps National Guard members access to higher education

Hobbs’ bill helps National Guard members access to higher education

A bill to bring parity to all branches of the Armed Forces when it comes to full access to college tuition received unanimous support Friday.

Senate Bill 5826, sponsored by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, ensures that all military members – including the men and women of the National Guard – have full access to higher education.

“Our citizen soldiers serve our country overseas and run towards disasters and calamities here at home,” said Hobbs, a National Guard member himself and veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Kosovo. “This bill simply ensures that they too have the same full access to higher education as their counterparts in other branches of our military.”

The bill clarifies a law that had previously denied two members of the National Guard tuition waivers. The bill clarifies the language to make sure no National Guard members encounter similar problems in the future.

“The National Guard is always on a rotational basis with deployment,” Hobbs said. “This bill gives these members peace of mind while they are stationed at home.”

March 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Hobbs’ bill improves small business competitiveness, strengthens safety net, homeless programs

Hobbs’ bill improves small business competitiveness, strengthens safety net, homeless programs

Two bills sponsored by Sen. Steve Hobbs, SB 5855 and 5856 will establish the Main Street Fairness Act, which will ensure that internet-based businesses are subject to the same taxes paid by small businesses in Washington state.

The money raised will go toward safety net programs to help the homeless and our state’s most vulnerable people, while also possibly freeing up additional money to fund K-12 education.

“Our state’s tax structure is broken,” Hobbs said. “This bill will level the playing field for small businesses in our state by creating equity between internet retailers and mom and pop stores in every community throughout Washington.

“This is also an opportunity to strengthen the safety net,” Hobbs added. “Many of our friends and neighbors have been left behind and just a modest investment in some of these programs that help folks get back on their feet are dangerously underfunded. This bill will help fix that.”

Right now there is no uniform function for the state to collect sales tax on sales completed over the internet, making on-line sales that much more attractive to consumers than transactions that take place in person. Hobbs’ bill establishes a nexus that captures internet sales tax for transactions through companies based in Washington. For example, if a seller in Indiana sells a book to someone in Washington through an online seller with a physical presence in our state, that transaction will now be subject to sales tax.

Don Forbis has owned Games Plus, a tabletop gaming business, for 32 years, the last seven in Lake Stevens. Forbis has survived despite internet competition, but said that Hobbs bill will help small businesses like his better compete on a day-to-day basis.

“Online competition is taking more and more of my business. They don’t have a storefront and don’t charge sales tax on top of that, it makes it really difficult to compete,” Forbis said. “I think this will help level the playing field. I’m very enthusiastic about the whole thing.”

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, a co-sponsor of the bill and a small business owner himself, said he believes the bill will serve as another tool to make small businesses more competitive.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy,” said Mullet. “As a small business owner, I personally experience the pressure of our state’s upside-down, broken tax code. Closing this unnecessary tax loophole levels the playing field and allows small businesses on Main Street to continue driving our economy.”

Mullet added that this bill is important because it could also free up money to help fund basic education.

Sen. Dean Takko, D- Longview, who is also co-sponsoring the bill added, “This is an opportunity to support the brick and mortar stores in our communities who don’t have a billion dollar online presence to deliver goods and services.
“An internet sales tax strikes a balance that can help our corner shops and seaside businesses stay competitive.”


February 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    A plan to make health care affordable for all school employees

A plan to make health care affordable for all school employees

Some of the people that help our school kids everyday — para-educators, librarians, bus drivers — pay outrageous amounts for health care costs for their families. They help our kids, it’s time for the legislature to help them. Sen. Steve Hobbs talks about two bills to help get costs under control.


February 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Hobbs named State Patrol’s Legislator of the Year

Sen. Steve Hobbs this week was named Legislator of the Year by the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association.

Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was one of four legislators to receive the honor. It was presented in appreciation of Hobbs’ work to pass HB 2872 in 2016 – a bill aimed at recruiting and retaining troopers. The bill also ensures that troopers and sergeants will be compensated at a rate comparable to police and sheriff departments throughout the state.

“What an honor to receive recognition from such a great organization,” Hobbs said. “The Washington State Patrol, and all first responders, keep us safe and it only makes sense to make sure that those who literally risk their lives for us are at the very least well compensated.”

February 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

WATCH: Sen. Hobbs discusses key transportation issues

Sen. Steve Hobbs and Sen. Curtis King discuss numerous transportation issues including tolling, the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project and helmet laws.

February 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Sen. Hobbs remains top Dem on transportation, joins environmental committee

Sen. Hobbs remains top Dem on transportation, joins environmental committee

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was selected Wednesday to remain the top Democrat on the Senate’s Transportation Committee. Hobbs also retained his roll on the Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.

Hobbs also joined the Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee. He says he hopes to add a moderate voice to a committee that takes on polarizing issues.

“I hope that I can provide some middle ground when it comes to issues that have become more about politically ideology than practical solutions,” Hobbs said. “I’m excited to add my voice and work to combat climate change but also make sure that we continue to provide a workable regulatory environment for Washington’s economy.”

Hobbs is a long-time member of both the Transportation and FII Committees. He worked across the aisle to broker the state’s historic and comprehensive transportation investment package in 2015.

December 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|