Statement from House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan

Statement from House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan on Rep. Ross Hunter’s appointment as director of the Department of Early Learning:

“The House Democratic Caucus has always been a leader in early childhood education, and Ross has been an integral part of our efforts. Anyone who has worked with Ross knows he’s a fierce and capable advocate for what he believes in. We will definitely miss his budget expertise and insight, but this is good news for the young children of Washington and their families, and for the Department of Early Learning.”

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Stakes too high to delay action on Iran nuclear deal

Originally published in the Seattle Times, 8/24/15

AS a former Cold War nuclear intelligence analyst for the Pentagon, I can say with confidence that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East poses a vital threat to U.S. security interests.

As leaders in the international community, Americans have a special responsibility to take actions preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program.

It is time for some diplomatic solutions to the arc of conflict that extends from the Middle East to South Asia. That is why I’m a strong supporter of the Iran nuclear deal currently under consideration by Congress.

Looking back on decades of diplomatic initiatives and military conflicts designed to deter or contain nuclear-proliferation risks, I know this: The Iran nuclear deal breaks new ground.

The Iran deal is the world’s best chance to prevent a new nuclear state in this turbulent region. Instead of reliving the past when we negotiated nuclear treaties only after states had built their bomb, the international community has opened a door to monitor Iran’s nuclear program before it becomes a deadly nuclear threat. Continue reading

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Rep. Lytton appointed to state water task force

OLYMPIA – Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) has been appointed to a task force looking at storm water, flood control, and water supply issues that have reached crisis levels throughout the state.

The Interim Task Force on Washington Waters will provide the next legislative session with information on funding and funding sources to address these water issues, and how best to use the money for projects throughout the state.

“I’m pleased to be appointed to the task force,” Lytton said. “Water is one of the state’s most important commodities: From agricultural needs to clean drinking water, fish habitat to storm water run-off, we need to address a variety of complex issues to ensure our water systems work for all.”

As vice chair of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, Lytton has been working on water-related issues throughout the state and particularly in her district where water shortages are impacting river levels and residential construction.

The Interim Task Force on Washington Waters was created through the Capital Budget and is made up of five Democratic members and five Republican members.

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McCleary Phase II

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Capital budget goes to the dogs — and that’s good

SILVERDALE — State Rep. Sherry Appleton visited the Kitsap Humane Society (KHS) this week to present them with a ceremonial check symbolizing a $90,000 state grant for a new puppy room.

 KHS, now in its second century of operation, is one of the largest and busiest no-kill animal shelters in the western U.S., and the area dedicated to their youngest charges has seen better days.  The funds from the recently approved capital budget will help the shelter upgrade its puppy kennels, and plans also include remodeling the space to improve lighting, drainage and ventilation.

“Sherry has a great passion for animals and animal welfare,” said Tom Weed, the non-profit organization’s director of donor relations, “and she fought hard for KHS.”

 After touring the facilities, Appleton, a pet-owner herself whose current menagerie includes Sadie the Malamute and a gray tabby named Mr. B, handed off the oversized check to KHS Executive Director Eric Stevens.

“Moments like this remind me of how fortunate I am to be in public service,” Appleton said. “This was a small victory in the context of a multi-billion dollar budget, but it will make a big difference in the lives of so many people and the wonderful pets they love. This is a great day.”

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