During floor action Wednesday, members of the Washington State Senate adopted Senate Resolution 8610, sponsored by 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. The Senate resolved that all members and staff offer their best wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement and their deepest gratitude to retired 7th District Sen. Bob Morton.
“Bob was one of my best friends here in the Senate,” Honeyford said. “I am proud to have been able to serve the people of Washington alongside him for so many years.”
Morton was elected to represent the 7th District in the state House of Representatives in 1991 and served until 1994. In 1995 he was elected to the Senate, where he served with distinction until his resignation in January. During his time in the Senate, Morton served as chairman of the Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee as well as chairman of the Agriculture and Environment Committee, where he became affectionately known as its “Minister of Agriculture.”
“Bob has always been someone who has genuinely represented the interests of his district, no matter what,” said Honeyford. “I remember the time he was gaveled down by the president of the Senate for blowing a railroad whistle because he believed he was being ‘railroaded’ by legislation. If that is not an example of someone standing up for what they believe, I don’t know what is.”
Honeyford says his friend never lost his desire to make Washington a better place, adding that during his storied career in the Legislature, Morton spearheaded efforts to protect agricultural water rights, developed plans to protect the state’s forests and defend livestock from wild predators, and was instrumental in the historic 2006 passage of legislation developing new water supplies by building water-storage facilities. His policy ideas even generated a clue used in the game show, Jeopardy and were recently published in Time magazine.
“I can tell you, the path Bob took during his time in the Legislature is not an easy one. I know, as I’ve followed the same one,” Honeyford continued. “He has always been someone I could look to when I needed inspiration, and I will miss him dearly.”