Tag Archives: Washington

Honeyford calls supplemental operating budget ‘good for Washington’

Senator Jim HoneyfordMembers of the state Senate today passed the 2014 supplemental operating budget proposal, which was supported by Sen. Jim Honeyford. The Sunnyside Republican noted that last year’s balanced, bipartisan budget was the primary reason for broad agreement on the supplemental budget more than two weeks before the end of the 60-day legislative session.

“The Majority Coalition Caucus produced a budget in 2013 that put more than a billion dollars into education, froze tuition for Washington college students and was projected to balance for four years,” said Honeyford, who represents the 15th Legislative District. “Because of that success there was no need to find places to cut this year. We didn’t have to look for ‘low-hanging fruit’ or waste valuable time trying to prioritize equally important provisions. When budgets are written right the first time, it makes the process that much easier to fine tune in supplemental years.” Continue reading

Honeyford resolution honoring Filipino-Americans adopted by state Senate

The Washington State Senate recognized the Filipino-American community of Washington yesterday by adopting Senate Resolution 8688 sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

“The 15th District has one of the largest Filipino-American populations per capita in the state and I’m proud to represent them in the Senate,” Honeyford said. “Without their unique history and culture in the Pacific Northwest, Washington wouldn’t be what it is today. It’s nice to see that recognized 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

Honeyford bill would spare honeybee industry from sting of B&O tax

honeybee-honeycomb-macro_26201_990x742The Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee today considered a bill aimed at putting more buzz into the state’s honeybee industry. Senate Bill 6402, sponsored by Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford, would exempt honeybee products and services from the state’s onerous business and occupation tax by defining them as agricultural products.

“Washington has many crops that depend upon bees for pollination to produce profitable crops,” said Honeyford, who serves as ranking Republican on the committee. “All kinds of products come from bees, including honey, pollen, beeswax, propolis, and many others. Just as the state considers milk that comes from cows to be an agricultural product, so should it consider products derived from honeybees.”

Washington is the only state to impose a business and occupations tax, which is levied on the gross receipts of all business activities. Unlike a corporate net income tax, there are no deductions for the costs of doing business. Small businesses often struggle in their first several years just to make a profit; many in Washington fail as a result of hitting the low B&O threshold but ending up in the red and losing money. Continue reading

Aviation caucus is now in its second year

aviationpicture

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.

Honeyford bill aims to keep invasive species out of Washington’s waters

They’re coming to wreak havoc on Washington’s waterways unless state officials can stop them now.That’s the message Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, conveyed to the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee Tuesday as he spoke in favor of Senate Bill 6040. It’s his bill to help the state Department of Fish and Wildlife effectively address invasive species through an integrated management approach.

“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

Honeyford continues in Senate leadership, re-elected as deputy floor leader

Senator Jim HoneyfordWashington’s Senate Republicans met privately Wednesday afternoon to elect their leadership team – an event that occurs in legislative election years – and chose Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, to continue serving as deputy floor leader.

“Obviously I’m honored that my colleagues think highly of me,” Honeyford said of his re-election. “I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan manner with all members of the Legislature for the good of the people of the state of Washington.” Continue reading

Legislative Council on River Governance

Columbia RiverI recently attended a meeting of the Legislative Council on River Governance, an organization managed by the Council of State Governments. The Legislative Council on River Governance is a cooperative association of legislators from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington who meet to discuss common interests and challenges along the Columbia River basin.

The purpose of the Legislative Council on River Governance is to assert state legislative duty and authority over natural resources and river governance in the Columbia and Snake River Basins, and to unite the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington to develop a proactive agenda of legislative action and communications. Continue reading

Hail cuts into would-be record apple crop

ApplesSome of you may have been affected by the recent hail storms that passed through central Washington. I know quite a few farmers in our area who were hit and are now trying to recoup any losses they suffered to both crops and structures. In fact, the hail damage is limiting what might have been a record apple crop this year, leaving farmers to wonder what might have been.

According to the Yakima Herald, the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association said the industry anticipates shipping 108.7 million boxes to market, which would fall short of the existing record of 109.4 million boxes set two years ago. The unknowns in the estimate involve how much of the hail-damaged fruit ultimately will be packed for sale under an available hail grade and whether labor supplies will be adequate to bring in the crop on time. Labor has been described as adequate during the cherry harvest in Central Washington. Continue reading

Washington grape growers expect record harvest

GrapesWashington grape growers say they are set to break a harvest record this year, expecting to box about 200,000 tons of the wine fruit. After two dicey years, a combination of warm weather and new acreage may combine to push this year’s crop to 200,000 tons, well above the previous record of 160,000 tons in 2010.

June was cool and growth was slow but the vines caught up easily in early July. And some growers experienced hail damage, but it came in isolated pockets small enough to not skew the statistics. Not only has the weather been warm, but temperatures have been predictable.

Continue reading