Tag Archives: Jim Honeyford

IN THE NEWS: Filipino-American Community of the Yakima Valley hosting Barrio Fiesta on Saturday

Yakima Herald Republic

More than 60 years ago, Filipino pioneers built the Filipino Community Hall at the corner of West Second Street and Satus Avenue to preserve culture and the community.

On Saturday, that effort will be commemorated with a traditional dinner during Barrio Fiesta, the Filipino-American Community of the Yakima Valley’s 64th anniversary of the hall.

The event will be from noon to 4 p.m. at the hall at 211 W. Second St. The dinner will feature roasted pig, spiced adobo chicken, lumpia, garlic bokchoy and steamed rice. Desserts include pudding, fresh fruit, rice cakes and sweet rice.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance from a member of the Filipino-American community or at the hall on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

State Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, will be the guest speaker. He will discuss the contributions the Filipino-American Community has made in the Yakima Valley and shed some light on the current Legislative session, said Filipino-American Community President Rey Pascua.

Over the years, Honeyford has supported several state resolutions in the past designating October as Filipino-American History Month, and eight years ago helped secure state funding to make improvements to the hall.

“He’s been very cooperative and supportive,” Pascua said.

The original article, published March 16, 2016, can be viewed here.

DeRuyter brothers serve as pages for Sen. Honeyford

Jaymin and Brendon DeRuyter, both home-schooled high school students from Zillah, recently spent a week working as pages for the Washington State Senate at the Capitol in Olympia. The brothers were two of 29 students who served as Senate pages for the eighth week of the 2016 legislative session.

They were sponsored by 15th Legislative District Sen. Jim Honeyford, Senate Republican deputy floor leader.

Both brothers participate in Civil Air Patrol where Honeyford is a lieutenant colonel with both the Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing Legislative Squadron and with the Yakima Composite Squadron. Jaymin is ranked as a Cadet Senior Master Sergeant and Brendon ranks as Cadet Chief Master Sergeant.

“I was happy to sponsor both Brendon and Jaymin for this short session. They were a pleasure to have around the office and did important work in their role as pages,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

The Senate Page Program is an opportunity for Washington students to spend a week working in the Legislature. Students are responsible for transporting documents between offices, as well as delivering messages and mail. Pages spend time in the Senate chamber and attend page school to learn about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process. Students also draft their own bills and engage in a mock session.

“Page school really helps with your speaking skills, like being able to state your opinion to people with sometimes differing views,” said Brendon about what he’s learned during his week at the Capitol. Jaymin added, “This has just been a really fun experience and I would recommend to anyone who is thinking about applying to the program should do it.”

Jaymin enjoys running in track for his local high school and Brendon enjoys playing golf as well as playing with airsoft guns with friends.

Both Jaymin and Brendon play instruments for their local youth group band, playing the guitar and the violin. Jaymin has been playing the guitar for over seven years and Brendon has been playing the violin since he was six years old.

Jaymin plans to one day become a lawyer and Brendon plans on getting into the veterinary program at Washington State University.

Jaymin and Brendon, 16 and 15 respectively, are the sons of Dan and Amber DeRuytor of Zillah.

Students interested in the Senate Page Program are encouraged to visit: http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Administration/PageProgram/

IN THE NEWS: House delaying up capital budget OK

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When I pulled the pickup truck into Olympia in early January, I was hopeful this “short” 60-day legislative session would truly be just that — 60 days.

However, here I am at my Newhouse Building desk on day 60-something, with the Senate and House still miles apart on supplemental operating and capital budgets.

These supplemental budgets should be straightforward: We open up the two-year budget approved last year, make adjustments to account for events not seen in our budget-writing crystal ball (the cost of fighting summer wildfires being a traditional example), then close it up for another year.

News reports that the Legislature hasn’t reached an agreement on the “budget” are typically referring to the operating budget that pays for day-to-day state government activity, including public schools.

As chairman of the capital budget – the brick-and-mortar complement to the operating budget – the biggest part of my job is to compile a list of construction, remodeling and repair projects.

The projects that appear in a final capital-budget list may range from developing Naches Rail to Trail to directing funds toward demolition of Sunnyside’s old Carnation milk-processing plant.

Because items covered by the capital budget are tangible – things that can be touched, seen and pointed to – many lawmakers seek to get as many of their local projects on the capital-budget list as possible.

That’s why, early in my tenure as chairman, I began requiring my fellow senators to explain in writing what a requested project would cost and how it would benefit the community.

This year, I shared additional requirements with my colleagues to reinforce this is a supplemental budget year, not time to unroll the Christmas list.

To even be considered, a request had to address an emergency, address an unanticipated change in a previously-approved capital-budget program, correct a technical error or represent an opportunity that would be forever lost if not acted upon this year.

The result is the true supplemental capital budget passed by the Senate on Feb. 26. A broad bipartisan majority of my Senate colleagues agreed with my common-sense approach, which bumped the size of the budget by a modest $87 million while directing even more money toward building new K-3 classrooms, as well as supplementing mental-health housing and addressing public-health emergencies like a failing water system in Pierce County

The House has not voted on a capital-budget proposal; its version only cleared the budget committee, but I agreed to start negotiating anyway.

It immediately became apparent that “supplemental” means something different to House members – on both sides of the political aisle.

If you know what is meant by “bringing home the bacon” and “pork project” you’ll understand what I have been up against during our budget talks.

Both House and Senate budgets spend about the same amount, but the House budget priorities are not on building classrooms or addressing true emergencies. It would, however, do a dandy job of letting House members bring projects home to their districts.

There is little sign of the self-control reflected in the Senate proposal.

I hope we are able to negotiate a capital budget that is truly supplemental. If we fail and do not have a supplemental budget the existing underlying budget continues as we agreed upon last year.

I’m proud of how the Senate supplemental capital budget shows respect for taxpayers. It’s a shame my counterparts in the House want to put pet projects ahead of the best interests of the people of Washington.

The original article, published March 11, 2016, can be viewed here.

Senate approves ‘true’ supplemental capital budget

The Senate today gave a strong endorsement to its proposed supplemental capital budget, voting 39-10 for a collection of changes totaling $87 million. The budget would provide funding for new classrooms, mental-health support and environmental cleanup, without tapping the state’s rainy-day fund or relying on a new revenue source.

“It was gratifying to see my colleagues join me in supporting our public schools. Nearly 65 percent of this budget goes toward education. The $38 million to reduce class size in K-3 is by itself a great investment in the kids of our state. The additional $35 million for the school construction-assistance account further cements that commitment,” said Sen. Jim Honeyford, capital-budget chair.

Supplemental budgets are developed during 60-day legislative sessions – such as this year’s – to make minor corrections to previously approved budgets. 

“Within existing revenue, we responded to some of the biggest issues our state faces: education, mental health and environmental cleanup. Our proposed budget directs $20.8 million toward additional mental-health beds and temporary housing for those in treatment,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

“We couldn’t ignore the decline in the Model Toxic Control Act account so we tackled that issue too. Ensuring that our state can continue addressing toxic-cleanup projects should be a priority for lawmakers – and we made sure it is,” Honeyford added.

Senate Bill 6201 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


IN THE NEWS: Pioneering lawmakers are making history

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Late in November 2012, I traveled to our state Capitol for the biennial re-organization of my Senate Republican Caucus.

Held in even years shortly after each general election, “re-org” is our equivalent of a board meeting: Caucus members vote on leadership positions and set the agenda for the upcoming session.

During my time in Olympia, I’ve seen majorities change. I’ve also seen gaps between the minority caucus and majority caucus narrow and widen.

In 2007, the number of Republican senators dropped to 17. By 2012, our numbers had grown to 23. There was talk of our reaching 25 seats and taking the majority in the 49-member Senate at the next election.

Then, in a historic turn of events, my colleagues and I claimed the majority in the Senate by ditching the traditional partisan approach and forming the Majority Coalition Caucus. We were a rabble of 23 Republicans and two Democrats who decided to govern differently and more effectively by following a set of shared principles — so much so that we broke the mold and forged our own future.

Being a member of the majority caucus in the Senate – and in the House of Representatives for that matter – comes with a mix of responsibility and influence.

Typically, the majority presides over every committee and decides which bills move forward. In true Majority Coalition Caucus fashion, we offered a handful of committee-leadership positions to Democrats comprising what was now the new minority caucus. Most were feeling jilted and rejected the offer, but a couple – either intrigued by the possibilities or motivated by a desire to stay at the table – accepted.

I’ll admit there were a few stumbles at first, but we collectively held our breath. Now, at more than halfway through our fourth legislative session, we’ve swapped a few members but we’re still the majority and we’re hitting our stride.

Over the past three sessions, we’ve upended priorities from past regimes; education has moved squarely to the top of the list. In the 30 years prior to the the Majority Coalition Caucus, the slice of the state budget dedicated to education had been shrinking. Under our watch, K-12 funding has jumped to 47 percent of the state’s budget – without raising general taxes or cutting services.

We put the brakes on runaway college costs in 2013 by freezing tuition at our state schools. That action provided the momentum for 2015 when the caucus cut tuition at all of Washington’s state-run colleges and universities, including our community colleges. A simple, yet revolutionary idea, so much so that no other state had ever done it.

The results have been immediate. This past fall, nearby Central Washington University saw first-year enrollment increase 21 percent over the previous year.

The current legislative session a “short” 60-day session, is scheduled to end March 10. Would there be reason for the majority to step out boldly again?

On Feb. 5, the majority caucus-led Senate rejected the confirmation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s candidate to head up the state Department of Transportation. One of the Senate’s unique duties is to confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments.

While I grudgingly admit our action wasn’t completely historic (we last exercised this option in 1998), judging from the angry cries of the governor and Seattle-based press, it might as well have been. According to the governor, our job is to rubber-stamp his appointments regardless of their lack of experience, mismanagement or project failures.

Our job, as we in the majority caucus see it, is to act in the best interest of the people who have elected us. Judging from the response I’ve gotten from drivers all over Washington, the folks who are paying for roads, bridges, buses and “mega” projects appreciate our oversight.

What do we have up our sleeve for the 2017 legislative session? There are three weeks left in the current legislative session and many more problem agencies.

We may still have more history to write in 2016.

The original article, published February 19, 2016, can be viewed here.

Senate’s sensible supplemental capital budget built on solid principles

The Senate’s capital-budget chair said the $87 million supplemental capital-budget proposal released today focuses squarely on supporting new classrooms, providing temporary mental-health housing and addressing an environmental-cleanup emergency, all within available revenue.

“This is a true supplemental budget, not a laundry list of new projects. The supplemental is meant to be a vehicle for minor technical corrections or to address changes in previously approved projects. I insisted that we stick to those principles and the result is a realistic, sustainable capital budget that doesn’t tap the state’s rainy-day fund,” said Sen. Jim Honeyford. 

Nearly 65 percent of the proposed budget is devoted to bolstering K-12 education with $38 million going toward expanding the K-3 class-size reduction pilot program and another $17 million for the school construction-assistance account.  

“Education funding is like a giant puzzle that the entire Legislature is working to solve. This is the brick-and-mortar piece that is critical to the whole picture,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. 

In response to the state’s mental health crisis, the proposed budget directs $20.8 million toward providing additional mental-health beds and temporary housing for those in treatment. It will also help to offset a decline in the Model Toxic Control Act account so that previously approved toxic-cleanup projects may move forward.  

“This is a sensible proposal that is exactly what the people of Washington expect of budget writers in Olympia — and something they deserve to see more often. This budget doesn’t write any checks we can’t cash while addressing the most dire needs of our state,” said Honeyford.  

A public hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.


Honeyford to lead Senate ceremony Wednesday honoring Civil Air Patrol

Sen. Jim Honeyford, a lieutenant colonel with both the Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing Legislative Squadron and Yakima Composite Squadron, sponsors a Senate resolution each year to honor the Civil Air Patrol’s service to communities and country. This year the recognition ceremony, set for Wednesday, Feb. 24 will feature something extra: a 60-foot-wide glider on display in the legislative parking lot.

“It is my honor to recognize the service of those in the Civil Air Patrol,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. “Although I highlight this volunteer organization each year, many people are still unaware of its existence and importance. These are the people who use their own time to assist with search-and-rescue missions. They jump in to help with disaster-relief efforts. They are the unsung heroes who should be recognized.”

The Blanik L-23 Glider that will be on exhibit at the Capitol campus Wednesday is used by the Civil Air Patrol as a trainer for cadets. The glider has room for two occupants in addition to its 60-foot wingspan. 

Founded Dec. 1, 1941, just six days before the Pearl Harbor bombing that led the United States to enter World War II, the Civil Air Patrol remains as vital today as it was nearly 75 years ago. The CAP holds true to its original mission of service through sponsorship of educational programs, cadet programs for youth and assistance with natural disaster relief.

Honeyford noted that following the 2014 Oso mudslide, the CAP flew vital supplies to areas unreachable by heavier aircraft, and ground teams helped in the evacuation of cities and towns.


IN THE NEWS: Local men honored by state Filipino community

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Sunnyside’s Rey Pascua and Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) recently were honored for their ongoing support of Washington’s Filipino communities.

The Filipino Community of Seattle selected the two men for the Bayanihan Award given to those who promote community leadership, said Sheila Burrus, the Seattle organization’s executive director.

Honeyford and Pascua, were praised for their dedication and commitment to the values of the Filipino community in Washington state, Burrus explained.

Burrus commended Pascua, who is the president of the Lower Valley Filipino community organization, and Honeyford for their consistent advocatcy of the Filipino American community, “…especially their passion for diversity, work, political advocacy and Asian Pacific Islander historical preservation in central Washington.”

The presentation was made during the Seattle organization’s annual gala held last Saturday in Seattle.

The original article and photo can be viewed here.

IN THE NEWS: Civil Air Patrol honors

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Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) receives the Legislator of the Year Award this past Saturday at the National Civil Air Patrol Convention in Orlando, Fla. Honeyford was honored for his work to benefit search and rescue efforts in Washington state, for his help in obtaining a hangar at the McAllister Air Museum in Yakima for a Civil Air Patrol plane, and for his efforts in forming a legislative squadron of 60 lawmakers in Washington state.

The original article and photo can be viewed here.

Senate continues to put the ‘public’ back in public education with capital-budget approval

Capital budgetThe Senate today approved its proposal to build over 2,100 classrooms, fully fund 80 parks and trails, inject $60 million into local-government infrastructure projects statewide and provide $30 million to expand the number of community behavioral health beds.

Over 30 percent of the Senate’s $3.9-billion capital budget is devoted to supporting public education – through funding of new classrooms tied to K-3 class-size reduction efforts, more backing for skills centers and allocations for key projects at Washington’s largest public universities.

“Every legislator in Olympia has been focused this year on how to reduce class size and substantively improve education, but none of that can happen without building more classrooms. With this capital budget we are providing the brick-and-mortar complement to the McCleary books and buses,” said the Senate’s capital-budget chair, Sen. Jim Honeyford.

“The capital budget funds the construction and maintenance of state assets across Washington, and we saw opportunities to have it fit hand-in-glove with our operating budget and its emphasis on education. I’m pleased that my colleagues saw the possibilities I did for making education a priority in a way that hasn’t been seen in a generation,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

Additionally, the capital-budget proposal would complete 80 parks and trails around the state that have been in the waiting line for years.

“By temporarily delaying the Washington Wildlife Recreation Program’s procurement of habitat lands, for two short years, it frees the WWRP to focus on its own goal of developing recreation areas for the people who should be using them – the taxpayers,” said Honeyford.

The Senate proposal also supports local infrastructure and provides family-wage jobs by funding projects on the state Public Works Board loan list, and public-works loans authorized by previous legislatures, in addition to allocating $37 million for new local projects.

“This education-focused proposal lays a solid foundation for final negotiations with the capital-budget leaders in the House of Representatives,” said Honeyford. “In the end I have no doubt that we will hammer out an agreement that supports our kids, provides important construction jobs and builds up our fragile economy.”