Tag Archives: Washington State Senate

Honeyford bills will create jobs for teens, reduce clerical burdens

Senator Jim HoneyfordGov. Jay Inslee signed two bills Tuesday that will benefit businesses in Washington and hopefully put more people to work. Senate Bills 5056 and 5770, both sponsored by 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside, make it easier for businesses to hire minors and reduce the clerical burdens of small conservation districts.

“Employers shared with us when they came to testify in support of these measures that they have to fill out an entirely new master business-license application just to hire young people,” said Honeyford, the top Republican on the Senate’s rural economic-development committee. “This bill pares the required information to only what is essential, thereby allowing businesses to create more opportunities for young people to find work and develop lifelong employment skills.” Continue reading

Honeyford bill could lower energy costs in eastern Washington

Wind farmPower rates in Washington could come down once Senate Bill 5400 becomes law. The measure – sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside – deals with the costly provisions of the 2006 voter-approved Energy Independence Act, also known as Initiative 937. SB 5400 would help power companies with out-of-state customers find other renewable energy resources in order to meet yearly conservation requirements.

“This bill allows PacifiCorp, a multi-state utility that has a service territory larger than the Bonneville Power Administration, to count the wind power produced in eastern Wyoming toward its renewable standard,” Honeyford said. “Right now, the geographic boundary to be able to count renewable is right down the middle of Wyoming; this bill modifies that so SB 5400 can keep the power rates more affordable in eastern Washington and aid low-income families as well as the agricultural industry.” Continue reading

Halfway to the finish line of the 2013 session

Honeyford on the floorWe’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

Status of my bills in the House of Representatives

I am pleased to report the Senate passed 11 of my bills and sent them to the House of Representatives for consideration. Currently, 10 of my 11 bills have public hearings scheduled in various House Committees.

The most important bill I sponsored this year is Senate Bill 5445 that provides $445m in grants for school construction and safety upgrades. After passing unanimously off the Senate floor to the House, it remains in the House Capital Budget Committee.   Continue reading

Senate unanimously sends five more Honeyford bills to the House of Representatives

Sen. Jim HoneyfordFive bills from 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, have been unanimously passed by the Senate in time to meet the March 13 deadline for most bills to be passed out of the body of origin. If signed into law, Honeyford’s bills would help keep energy costs low, itemize state debt-service costs, make employees easier to pay, protect Washington’s waterways from invasive species, and finally update the way irrigation districts finance new projects.

Senate Bill 5132 would clarify the way debt-service costs are reported. The state takes on debt in order to fund about half of the capital-budget projects, like elementary schools and prisons, and Honeyford’s bill would require the itemization of exactly what projects the incurred debt is paying for.

“Our current debt-service appropriation does not identify how much of the debt is being used on each project,” Honeyford said. “We cannot maintain a sustainable budget if we do not know how much debt has been financed for each project.” Continue reading

Honeyford-sponsored public health, land and water bills pass Senate

Senate Floor DebateOver 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

State Senate honors Filipino-Americans with Honeyford resolution

Honeyford_200x282The Washington State Senate stood and applauded the Filipino-American community of Washington Wednesday after passing Senate Resolution 8617 sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

“There are large populations of Filipino-Americans in the 15th District and I’m proud to represent them in the Senate,” Honeyford said. “Their history and culture here in the Pacific Northwest helped make Washington what it is today, and it’s fitting that we honor that with a Senate resolution.”

Documents dating to 1888 found at an old lumber mill in Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island west of Seattle listed a “Manilla” among the employee roster. It is the first known worker from the Philippines in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, Filipinos make up the largest Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic population in Washington, home to dozens of historically Filipino communities such as Wapato, Auburn, Bremerton, and others. Continue reading

State Senate honors Civil Air Patrol with Honeyford resolution

20130228_LegWA_0515shThe Washington State Senate stood and applauded members of the Civil Air Patrol Thursday after passing Senate Resolution 8621 sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

“I’ve been involved with the Civil Air Patrol for more than four years now and I really enjoy the opportunities to guide and mentor some really outstanding young people,” Honeyford said. “The organization develops its members into future leaders who go on to succeed in whatever they set their minds toward; they deserve to be recognized by the Washington State Senate.”

Continue reading

Senate passes two bills to fund new safety measures for schools

Senator Jim HoneyfordSenator Bruce DammeierTo better protect Washington schools, students and teachers, the Senate today unanimously passed two bills that would initiate implementation of school-safety measures. Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 5197, a measure that was introduced in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

“At a time when someone is threatening our kids, seconds count,” Dammeier said. “Community members who testified at a public hearing for this bill talked about how banks are better protected than our schools. That needs to change.” Continue reading

Honeyford bills on mosquitoes and minors pass Senate unanimously

Senator Jim HoneyfordSen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, said he appreciated the Senate’s unanimous passage of two of his bills today. Senate Bill 5002 proposes to update state law to allow local mosquito districts more flexibility in their operations while Senate Bill 5056 would make it easier for companies in Washington to hire minors.

Honeyford, who serves the 15th Legislative District, says SB 5002 would allow mosquito-control districts to enter adjacent lands in order to conduct inspections and abate breeding places. It would also authorize districts to cut or remove shrubbery or undergrowth as necessary to carry out abatement operations, subject to consultation with the landowner. Continue reading