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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been another full week of committee hearings and constituent meetings.
In the House Transportation Committee, we focused on the governor's transportation proposals and heard an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel project.
I re-introduced a bill from 2013 that would address critical safety issues on our roadways and expedite the process of replacing bridges rated as “structurally deficient.” House Bill 1219 would fast track the replacement of deficient bridges by shortening timelines for contracting and permitting. I originally sponsored this bill following the collapse of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge because of my concern for the Meridian Street Puyallup River Bridge. The Puyallup River Bridge is rated as 2 out of 100 on the scale of structural sufficiency. While this bridge is now being replaced, it should have been completed years ago. The Washington State Department of Transportation currently identifies 130 bridges as structurally deficient, and we can't afford for that number to grow. The bill was heard in committee on Wednesday, and the bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 2.
In the House Higher Education Committee, I am preparing for a public hearing on another bill I've sponsored. House Bill 1500 would convene a study of higher education costs at the state universities. The panel would also look at the cost drivers for the universities and students over the past 20 years. This bill is scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 3.
We took time on Friday to honor the members of the Washington National Guard. Members of the National Guard play a vital role in in our national defense, but they also support civil authorities here at home. We saw this following the Highway 530 mudslide in Oso and the destructive wildfires in north central Washington last year.
As a member of the Washington Air National Guard, I am honored to serve alongside so many people committed to our country and state.
Following ceremonial speeches in honor of the National Guard on Friday morning, members of the House joined in a loud bipartisan cheers for the Seahawks. Democrats started with “SEA!,” and Republicans responded with “HAWKS!” Many in Olympia today were decked out in Seahawks gear. Regardless of party, we can stand united for our home team this weekend. Go Hawks!
Keep in touch.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000