Tag Archives: Curtis King

Keeping Yakima Valley School open a priority for longtime area lawmaker

yakvalleyschoolTo help protect the vulnerable residents who call the Yakima Valley School their home, Sen. Jim Honeyford has proposed a bill that would allow the residential care facility to begin admitting new patients again. Senate Bill 5962, considered by the Senate Health Care Committee today, would permit the facility to reopen its doors to the community.

“After the facility began barring new patients, it continued providing temporary respite and crisis beds,” said Honeyford, who represents the 15th Legislative District, “but since that time we’ve seen a drastic need for it to return to its original purpose of providing a stable, long-term home for individuals with significant developmental or medical disabilities.”

During the state’s economic crisis in 2011, the governor signed a bill to close the Frances Haddon Morgan developmental disability facility in Bremerton and gradually reduce the number of residents at YVS. Honeyford worked with other Yakima-area lawmakers to help keep the facility’s residents and staff in place for as long as possible. The 2011 legislation closed the school to any further admissions but allowed current residents to continue residing at the facility for the rest of their natural lives. Then, when the population dropped below 16, the state would find alternate housing for the remaining occupants and close the school permanently. Continue reading

Priorities: Yakima Valley School, state lands, invasive species, radio towers

Because the 2014 session is only two months this year, there are a number of issues I’ll be addressing right from the start.

YAKIMA VALLEY SCHOOL. One bill that is very important to me would help keep the Yakima Valley School open. In 2011, the Legislature passed a measure that kept the residential facility for the developmentally disabled in Selah from closing immediately. However, as part of a last-minute deal to save the Yakima Valley School, the final measure required the facility to no longer accept new patients but allowed the then-81 residents to stay for the rest of their lives. Continue reading

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.

JobsI’m very proud to receive this award from the National Federation of Independent Business once again. In my 18 years as a state lawmaker I’ve always tried to be a champion of small businesses and have worked hard to give them every opportunity to succeed in this often-difficult environment. Continue reading

Senators sign letter supporting AG lawsuit

Today, as Senate Republican Deputy Floor Leader, I delivered a letter to Attorney General Rob McKenna in support of his decision to join a bipartisan, nationwide group of attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of the national health care bill signed into law this week. These senators signed the letter:

Sen. Randi Becker
Sen. Don Benton
Sen. Mike Carrell
Sen. Jerome Delvin
Sen. Mike Hewitt
Sen. Janéa Holmquist
Sen. Jim Honeyford
Sen. Curtis King
Sen. Bob McCaslin
Sen. Bob Morton
Sen. Cheryl Pflug
Sen. Pam Roach
Sen. Mark Schoesler
Sen. Val Stevens
Sen. Dan Swecker
Sen. Joseph Zarelli

“Our caucus has long sought to ensure all Washingtonians have access to high-quality, affordable health care while maintaining our commitments to the vulnerable, working poor and elderly. Over the years we have introduced legislation to accomplish this goal,” the letter stated.

“We believe that the future of our government ‘of the people and by the people’ is in peril when any group sees fit to suspend the constitution and laws in service of their own agenda. …It is vital that our courts address these fundamental constitutional concerns prior to the full implementation of the legislation. We are convinced that a legally sound approach to health reform will be more successful and will better serve our fellow citizens over the long term.”

Senate Republicans have introduced several bills since the beginning of this year’s regular legislative session aimed at protecting Washingtonians from any possible unconstitutional provisions of the Obama health care plan.

Senate Bill 6535, the Washington State Health Care Freedom Act of 2010, would protect employers and workers who refuse to participate in nationalized healthcare from possible fines and penalties. Sponsored by Sen. Janéa Holmquist, R-Moses Lake, it would also nullify in Washington any federal law, rule, order or other act by the federal government violating the provisions of the bill.

If approved by voters, Senate Joint Memorial 8220, sponsored by Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, would put these same protections into Washington’s constitution.

This week, Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, introduced Senate Bill 6890, which would prohibit a federal mandate on Washington citizens to purchase health care.