Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford’s work to keep state waterways from being infested by non-native mussels and other invasive species was validated when Senate Bill 6040 was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee during a ceremony Wednesday.
By using an integrated-management approach supported by Honeyford’s legislation, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will be able to effectively address the marauding mussels and other invasive species should they reach Washington waters.
“These mussels reproduce quickly and begin to cover water pumping stations, generator turbines, shoes, boat hulls and motors, anything in their path,” said Honeyford, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, referring to the zebra and quagga mussels that can infest a body of water in just a few short weeks. “It’s critical to stop them now, before they damage our waterways, and it will cost taxpayers even more to control them.”
The Legislature has now completed the first two weeks of the 2014 session and we’re well underway debating bill proposals and negotiating with our colleagues. Since this is a short (60-day) session, the timeframe to accomplish what we need to do is reduced and everything seems to be getting done in a hurry. I wanted to share an update on the progress of some of my bills before going into detail about a few others. Continue reading →
“All I had to do was hold up a license plate that was in Nevada’s Lake Mead for four months and show the committee how the entire surface had become completely overrun by zebra and quagga mussels,” said Honeyford, who represents the 15th Legislative District. “I believe that got the point across. The state needs to take aggressive steps to prevent an infestation in our waterways before it becomes a billion-dollar boondoggle.” Continue reading →
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 →
Over the past several days in the Washington State Senate, Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, saw three of his bills approved and sent to the House of Representatives.
The first to pass on Friday was Senate Bill 5324, which would encourage municipalities to use state Department of Ecology design guidelines when constructing stormwater retention ponds in an effort to reduce the mosquito population. In addition, DOE would need to consult with the state Department of Health about strategies to prevent West Nile virus, and any retention pond found to contain West Nile virus would be the responsibility of the area’s mosquito-control district. Continue reading →