Olympia lawmaker will help write future of western legislatures

OLYMPIA – State Rep. Sam Hunt’s leadership work is stretching beyond chairing a key committee in the Washington State House of Representatives. The Thurston County lawmaker will soon take a top post helping shape the future of not just the Legislature here in Washington but legislatures in 12 other western states as well.

Hunt in a few months will receive the Chair’s gavel for the Future of Western Legislatures Committee of the Council of State Governments-WEST – a nonpartisan organization founded six decades ago.

“You assume the leadership of this important committee at a time when state legislatures are experiencing cascading social, economic and political pressures,” said Hawaii state Rep. Marcus Oshiro and Wyoming state Rep. Rosie Berger, who are the Chair and Chair-Elect, respectively, of the Council of State Governments-WEST, in a letter to Hunt confirming his new leadership post.

The organization promotes an exchange of ideas and experiences among legislative officials from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.

“I look forward to hearing what other folks are doing and thinking in the legislative branches of their state governments,” said Hunt, who already chairs the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee here in the Washington State Capital.

“Especially in these days of a nightmarish economy for most every state, as well as for our nation as a whole, it’s so important that we exchange ideas and cooperate with one another in finding the best courses of action to get through these awfully trying times.”

Hunt for the past two years has been serving as Vice Chair of the CSG-WEST committee. His new duties will run from July 2011 to July 2012.

As a member of the CSG leadership team, the 22nd Legislative District legislator serves on the Executive Committee of the regional organization.

Here in the Washington State House of Representatives, Hunt is also a member of the House Ways & Means Committee and the House Education Committee.

A former North Thurston Public Schools Board member, Hunt is a member of the

Olympia Kiwanis Club, the North Thurston Education Foundation Board and the South Sound Cougar Club (WSU). He serves on The Nature Conservancy Washington Board and the Washington State Historical Society Board.

Hunt and his wife, Charlene Hunt, have lived in Olympia more than 25 years.

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