Agriculture Water and Rural Economic Development

Water rights permit processing reaches new levels I received an e-mail from Maria Bellon, Water Resources Program Manager for the state Department of Ecology. She was excited to tell me about updated decision numbers for the water rights they have been processing this fiscal year. Including the month of May, the decision count for the last 11... Read More...
Senator King and I receive “Guardian of Small Business” award The National Federation of Independent Business has awarded Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima) and me its Guardians of Small Business Award for 2012. The award is given to legislators with strong records of sponsoring and supporting legislation vital to the creation, growth and survival of small-business enterprises in Washington state. I’m very... Read More...
Bills held hostage, Ag Alert and more… Another story you may have heard about is the governor’s threat to veto bills unless the Legislature reaches a budget compromise. While the goal may be worthwhile, I believe she is unnecessarily hurting the people of Washington. There are dozens of bills to help people waiting to become law that... Read More...
An update on the status of my bills Senate Bill 5292 – Exempting certain structures that are constructed and maintained by irrigation districts and port districts from the definition of critical areas. This is my bill from last session which passed the Senate on February 8. It would essentially clarify that the drainage side of irrigation districts are... Read More...
My bill to assist power capacity in central WA will become law Members of the Washington State Senate voted unanimously Monday in favor of my bill which would – among other things – allow investors to construct water-pump storage facilities along the Columbia River to generate electricity and help balance out the power generated by area wind farms. I’m pleased to see... Read More...
An update on the status of my bills We’re past the cutoff point for both House and Senate bills not considered necessary to implement the budget to be passed out of committees. From this point on, each day will be spent debating and passing bills in either the full House or full Senate, with the exception of certain... Read More...
My bill to lower port and irrigation district costs will become law On Tuesday members of the Washington State House of Representatives unanimously approved Senate Bill 5292, my bill to help clarify exemptions regarding natural versus manmade drainage areas within port and irrigation districts. The bill – which I introduced in the 2011 session – would change state law so that the drainage... Read More...
Humane Society’s claims are hard to back up During a recent work session of the Senate ag committee, we heard the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) make claims about the treatment of animals in Washington farms. They claimed sows in gestation crates are being prevented from free movement to the point that they were rubbing their... Read More...
Ag-related bills in the Legislature Senate Bill 6392 – Expanded farm internship program. In 2010, the Senate agriculture committee heard testimony that Washington is facing a crisis of aging farmers. The average age is 56, and 70 percent of farmland is expected to change hands in the next 20 years. To help bring young people... Read More...
Update on the budget and agriculture We’re now about two-thirds of the way through the 2012 regular legislative session and are on the downhill slope toward the March 8 deadline. I’m slightly more optimistic that we may not have another special session due to the fact that most of the budget proposals that need to be... Read More...