The state Senate today chose Sen. Jim Honeyford as its vice president pro tempore, making him one of just three lawmakers formally selected to preside in the Senate’s chambers at the Capitol.
“I’m pleased my colleagues have entrusted this important leadership role to me,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. “When called upon to preside over the Senate, it will be my responsibility to make sure things keep running in an orderly way so we can get the people’s business done in a timely manner.”
Honeyford will preside when neither the lieutenant governor, who doubles as president of the Senate, nor the Senate’s president pro tempore, who like Honeyford is a member of the Senate’s majority coalition, is available.
“I feel strongly that it is not the role of presiding officers to promote their own personal or political agenda, tipping the scales in favor of one side or the other,” said Honeyford. “Instead, it is the constitutional duty of the presiding officer to call balls and strikes according to the rules, in a fair manner that keeps the Senate functioning efficiently on behalf of all Washingtonians.”
Honeyford’s selection as vice president pro tem was made by the members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus last week, but became official with the formal, unanimous vote of the full Senate during today’s opening day of the session.
In addition to this role, Honeyford will continue his leadership as vice chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which has him leading the process to create a new capital-budget. Honeyford will also serve on the Agriculture, Water, Trade & Economic Development, Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications and Rules committees. The 2017 legislative session is scheduled to last 105 days.