Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to invite you to an upcoming town hall meeting with your 6th Legislative District team. Please join Sen. Michael Baumgartner, Rep. Jeff Holy and me on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Museum of Arts and Culture, 2316 West 1st Ave.
The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reported this month that Washington exports rose to an all-time high of $22.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, mostly due to agriculture exports and more Boeing planes headed overseas. Growth in U.S. manufacturing has slowed but remains positive, and housing permits rebounded in the fourth quarter. For the year (up until Feb. 10), revenue collections for our state were up $6.5 million (0.5% higher) from the November revenue forecast.
I am pleased to report that my bill (House Bill 1791) to crack down on human trafficking passed the House unanimously this week, 97-0. Estimates show there are more than 27 million around the world living in slavery right now and Washington is a state with high human trafficking activity.
As you may recall, my bill allows law enforcement and prosecutors to come at this problem from both sides: the labor standpoint and the prostitution standpoint. It makes any trafficking that includes a sex act a sex offense. As a result, the perpetrator would have to register as a sex offender. This is significant given that organized crime is often involved.
I have appreciated the help of the FBI on this issue as it is incredibly important we take a firm stance against this crime as it has a serious impact on our women, children and communities.
Congratulations to Jeff Naslund of Mt. Spokane High School who is a finalist for the 2014 Civic Educator of the Year award. I had the honor of nominating Jeff and am proud of his efforts and accomplishments at Mt. Spokane. As part of the Legislature's annual Civic Education Day, Jeff will be honored along with the other finalists and awardees at the Capitol on February 17.
Thank you to those who were able to participate in my telephone town hall this week. We had up to 810 participants on the line and were able to get to 27 questions from citizens just like you. When I asked my poll question about whether or not you agreed with Gov. Inslee's suspension of the death penalty, 80.4% of you said you “disagreed with the governor” and 19.6% said you “agreed with the governor.”
As always, please contact me with questions or concerns about state government or if you're having trouble with a state agency. It is a privilege to serve you in Olympia.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000