Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been a busy start to the 2015 legislative session here in Olympia. I and my colleagues in the House and Senate took the oath of office and began the 2015 legislative session earlier this month. The opening ceremonies highlighted the rich traditions of the Legislature and Washington state and provided an opportunity to look forward to doing the people's work over the next 105 days.
For the first several weeks of session, committee work will be spent receiving updates from state agencies and other groups, and learning more about legislative proposals. For the 2015-17 term I will be serving on several committees in the House. I will continue my work as ranking member on the Public Safety Committee, and will also serve on the Education Committee, Judiciary Committee, and co-chair on the Joint Committee for Veterans and Military Affairs.
These committees will take on issues important to our communities throughout the 2015 session. I am committed to ensuring tough questions are asked, and your interests are prioritized. As the session moves forward, I will be sharing updates on bills I am working on, and have heard in my committees. I will also provide you with information on high-profile bills so that you may remain informed.
Recently, as part of an interview, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on critical public safety issues facing our state and my role on the governor's Justice Reinvestment Task Force. I believe we must enforce the law in order to protect and seek justice for victims and their families. But, we also must be diligent in our attempts to reduce recidivism (recommitting of crimes by the same person). You can view the interview here.
This week we took time to honor members of the Washington National Guard. As a 27-year veteran of the Army National Guard, I have had the honor to serve alongside many brave men and women who were willing to sacrifice so much for their country. Members of the National Guard play a vital role in our national defense, but also support public safety here at home as we saw during the Oso mudslide and destructive wildfires of last year. They truly make our state proud!
I will also be providing video updates throughout the session. You can view my latest video here.
The most important part of my job is to be a voice for you. As bills are introduced and issues arise during the legislative session, I encourage you to contact my office to share your thoughts with me. You play a critical role in the legislative process and I am always happy to meet with you on issues important to our communities. I also strongly encourage you to come to Olympia to testify in committee on bills important to you. My Legislative Assistant, Jen Palmer, will also be happy to assist you with making an appointment or dealing with a state agency.
I love you all! May God richly bless you! Have a great Washington day!