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Friday to bring first for Senate committee: allowing remote testimony

Published on November 18, 2014

padden_pqThis Friday the Senate Law and Justice Committee will make history by letting three people offer testimony without having to travel to the Capitol. Sen. Mike Padden, committee chair, said the 8 a.m. work session will offer the first real test of videoconferencing technology he hopes to use more during the upcoming legislative session.

“Think about how the challenge of traveling to the Capitol has prevented people, going back to territorial days, from speaking out about legislation affecting them. That’s especially true for people east of the Cascades and in the northwest and southwest corners of the state. A ZIP code should not determine who does and doesn’t have an opportunity to be heard, and technology provides a solution that we will test at Friday’s work session,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. Read more…


Senate Republican leader saddened by death of Rep. Roger Freeman

Published on October 29, 2014

Sen. Mark Schoesler offered this statement about state Rep. Roger Freeman, who passed away late this morning. The Federal Way Democrat, serving his first term in the House of Representatives, was 48 and had been fighting cancer since just after the 2013 legislative session.

“Representative Freeman was the sort of person you liked from the moment you met him – a warm and decent man who held fast to his convictions in a positive way. It’s fitting that the piece of legislation he got through Olympia earlier this year was about services for people with developmental disabilities who have children; you could tell how deeply he cared about families, children and the more vulnerable residents of our state, and I was glad to help that bill become law.

“I knew he was in a tough fight, health-wise, but we all hoped – as he did – for the best. Our condolences go to his family at what is not only a loss for them but also for the people he served, for the Legislature and for our state.”

Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is Senate Republican leader.


OPINION: Reducing punishment doesn’t reduce crime

Published on October 13, 2014

Click on the text below to read the full column.



Oct. 11 -- Spokesman-Review


Rivers receives 2014 Outstanding Legislator Award from WA Association of Sewer & Water Districts

Published on October 3, 2014

Ann photoThe Washington Association of Sewer & Water Districts has recognized Sen. Ann Rivers for her outstanding support of special purpose sewer & water districts.

Rivers, R-La Center, has been a tireless champion of the Public Works Trust Fund.  The Fund is an innovative state program that provides low cost loans to build infrastructure delivering safe drinking water and protecting water quality.  Since the program was initiated in 1985, almost 100 projects have been constructed in Clark County, partially funded by $217 million in low cost loans from the Fund.  Rivers’ continued support for this fiscally responsible program means low cost loans through the Public Works Trust Fund can continue to build the critical projects to protect the public, while keeping utility rates affordable.

A plaque recognizing Rivers was presented on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Clark Regional Wastewater District office in Vancouver.  Read more…


State medical association names King ‘Legislator of the Year’

Published on September 24, 2014

Legislator-of-the-year-2-150x150[1]Sen. Curtis King’s work to protect young people from skin cancer has made him the Washington State Medical Association’s 2014 Legislator of the Year. Dr. Dale Reisner, association president, presented King, R-Yakima, with the honor at the WSMA annual meeting Saturday.

Earlier this year King shepherded Senate Bill 6065, which prohibits those younger than 18 from using tanning beds, through the legislative process. The new law, which took effect in mid-June, is aimed at reducing cases of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Read more…