Last year was the first time we organized an “aviation caucus” devoted to general and business aviation and its economic impact on Washington. Our job is to help lawmakers better understand the burdens and obstacles companies confront and how to make flying safer and more accessible. I’m pleased to report that there is more interest this year and we will be continuing to meet on a regular basis. Our first meeting (after the organizational meeting) is scheduled for Tuesday, January 28, at 7 am in the Cherberg building and I encourage anyone from back home with an interest in the aeronautics industry to stop by if you happen to be in Olympia.
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 →
Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, helped honor and remember fallen veterans Tuesday during a wreath-laying ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia. The event was one of hundreds held across the country to commemorate those who cannot be with their families during the holiday season.
“I am honored to participate in this important ceremony every year,” said Honeyford, himself a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol. “Having the wreath in our state’s Capitol building is a way to honor the thousands of veterans who have died in defense of our country. I hope anyone coming to Olympia will take the time to stop by and see it, pause to reflect on all they are blessed with, and give thanks to those who fought to secure it.” Continue reading →
Every year an event known as Wreaths Across America takes place to help decorate the graves of veterans for the holiday season. It’s an event meant to simply and solemnly REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those who serve our country and TEACH others the value of freedom.
This year’s event takes place December 10 at the State Capitol Building in Olmpia. It begins at 12:15 on the third floor of the rotunda, and if you’re in Olympia I’d encourage you to attend. If not, you can visit the website to find other events being held locally.
Wreaths Across America is a national event that involves over 800 locations and places memorial wreaths at over 500,000 graves of US Soldiers. See more at: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
After approving two tax-preference bills designed to bolster the state’s aerospace industry, longtime state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Yakima, said he’s looking forward to continuing the trend of growing the state’s business community by offering tax incentives.
“The governor called us into a special session in order to pass two bills to keep Boeing in Washington, in exchange for retaining up to 56,000 jobs and creating tens of thousands of new jobs across the state,” said Honeyford, who represents the state’s 15th Legislative District. “That’s not an opportunity that we can just sit on, but I’m concerned about the appearance of the state playing favorites. Now that it’s been widely accepted that certain tax incentives can grow businesses in Washington and in turn provide jobs, I’m going to pursue expanding that policy to other areas beyond aerospace, such as agriculture and small businesses, and I already have a commitment from Boeing that it will help us work to expand these policies.” Continue reading →
We’ve passed the middle of the 2013 legislative session, and at this point the most significant deadline was reached on March 13. Known as “floor cutoff,” it was the last day most bills could be considered by their body of origin. In other words, all Senate bills considered not necessary to implement the budget had to be passed by the Senate and vice-versa in the House of Representatives.
Under Majority Coalition Caucus leadership, this year the Senate has been more productive than any other time in the past four years. We passed 276 bills over to the House, many of which were sponsored by members of the minority caucus. We’ve set the bar high for passing the most bills sponsored by members of the minority in recent history, holding true to the Majority’s stated goals of true bipartisanship. Continue reading →
On Wednesday, March 20, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced we will have nearly two billion additional dollars for the 2013-15 operating budget. This news has been extremely well-received and has strengthened the resolve of the Majority Coalition Caucus to not raise your taxes. Despite reports to the contrary, we are close to reaching a budget compromise that will provide more funding for higher education as well as significantly fund K-12 education to comply with the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
Here in Olympia, the constant talk of budget cuts has all but evaporated, and we are able to start reprioritizing your tax dollars to focus on what matters most. Some pet programs may not receive the increases they would like, but we are no longer taking money away from vital programs and services. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the 2013-15 budget as it is made public.
After years of one-party rule in Washington state government, Democrat and Republican senators announced today that they have formed a Majority Coalition Caucus to lead the Senate during the 2013 legislative session. Twenty-five state senators have committed themselves to the new majority group, including Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, who will also chair the state’s capital budget committee.
“Senators who serve on the capital budget committee have typically been very cooperative and bipartisan, and I expect that tradition to continue in the 2013 session,” Honeyford said. “As far as the Majority Coalition goes, it was clear to me that our citizens were tired of business-as-usual, partisan politics and lawmakers needed to find some common ground on which to make a stand.” Continue reading →
I hope you are having a nice beginning to your summer. I’ve been keeping quite busy in meetings and events within our district and around the state. I’m sending you this e-newsletter today because I wanted to give you a sense of what kinds of activities I’ve been engaged in since the legislative sessions ended earlier this year.
Though the Washington State Legislature is technically a part-time deliberative body, the activities in which state senators and representatives participate occur year-round. As you’ll see below, I’ve been very active and will continue to be so throughout the summer and fall. Continue reading →
To celebrate the dedication and service of the men and women of the Civil Air Patrol, I coordinated an honorary breakfast today in Columbia Room of the legislative building in Olympia. After the meal, participants were invited to the gallery of the state House of Representatives to observe as the body adopted a resolution recognizing the Washington state wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
I’ve been a proud member of the Civil Air Patrol for three years, serving as a lieutenant colonel with both the Washington Wing Legislative Squadron and the Yakima Composite Squadron. The organization has helped to develop our state’s young people into future leaders who go on to succeed in whatever they set their minds toward. For me personally, this breakfast was just a way of saying “thank you” to these dedicated individuals and to the organization.