Tag Archives: Yakima

IN THE NEWS: Meeting on water needs planned for Thursday in Yakima

Yakima Herald Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — State lawmakers are seeking the public’s perspective on how Washington should invest in water management for the future at a meeting in Yakima on Thursday.

It’s part of a $250,000 study to understand the “economic consequences of investing – and not investing – in water infrastructure and fisheries habitat” projects around the state.

It was sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, and Sen. Karen Kaiser, D-Kent.

Honeyford has been urging lawmakers to address the issue for several years because the infrastructure that delivers irrigation to farms, prevents floods, and shunts stormwater off city streets are key parts of the state’s economy. Unlike transportation infrastructure, for example, there’s no dedicated funding plan for such systems.

Lawmakers included the study in the 2016 supplemental capital budget.

The conclusions are expected to help state lawmakers best allocate limited funds to support economic development, protect water quality, and restore fish habitat.

Two identical public meetings will be held in Yakima on Thursday, at 3:30 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m., at the Southeast Community Center, located at 1211 S. 7th St. in Yakima.

The original article, published Sept. 20, 2016, can be found here.

 

Transportation is topic number one in Olympia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis picture is an aerial view of Interstate 82 in Yakima (courtesy WSDOT). It’s just one of dozens of projects that would be completed if the latest statewide transportation package is passed into law. But there’s a catch…it comes with an 11.5-cent gas tax increase.

That’s not to say it’s a no-brainer “no” vote. After all, the package proposed by the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) also includes landmark reforms that will streamline the state’s transportation system and save taxpayers millions down the road (so to speak). It will also keep the state Department of Transportation accountable for its mistakes and oversights, reduce the regulatory burden on transportation construction projects and ensure tolls are kept in the area where they are enacted, among other things.

The MCC proposal would fully fund two major projects in Yakima County: the east-west corridor overpass and bridge ($45 million) and economic development improvements to I-82 in Union Gap ($56 million). Continue reading

Sunnyside Senator to push for expanding tax breaks for businesses statewide

Senator Jim HoneyfordAfter 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

Some of my summer events

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

My schedule for the coming weeks

CalendarI wanted to share with you my calendar for the month of May to give you a sense of what activities I’m engaged in now that the legislative session has ended. Continue reading

Senator King and I receive “Guardian of Small Business” award

The National Federation of Independent Business has awarded Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima) and me its Guardians of Small Business Award for 2012. The award is given to legislators with strong records of sponsoring and supporting legislation vital to the creation, growth and survival of small-business enterprises in Washington state.

JobsI’m very proud to receive this award from the National Federation of Independent Business once again. In my 18 years as a state lawmaker I’ve always tried to be a champion of small businesses and have worked hard to give them every opportunity to succeed in this often-difficult environment. Continue reading

Critical access hospitals threatened

Similar to last week’s House Democrat operating budget proposal, today’s Senate Democrat proposal would cut $11 million from most of our state’s critical access hospitals. I say most because I’m told there is one critical access hospital – in a Democrat district – that will not suffer any cuts. All the rest are in Republican districts.

Ambulance at Emergency EntranceIf you’re not familiar with these, critical access hospitals are smaller medical facilities usually located in some of the more rural areas of our state, and often provide care to lower-income residents. They’re often the only option for some state residents who need emergency surgeries or other high-priority treatment, and if they don’t receive funding from the state there is a good chance these critical access hospitals could close down. In our district, that would leave residents with only three areas to receive emergency medical care: Yakima, Tri-Cities or Vancouver.

This is one of the primary reasons I’ll be voting against this budget should it make it to the floor.