News

Rep. Morris’ attempt to protect personal privacy from airborne voyeurs making news — again

June 24, 2014

Washington House Democrats

Rep. Morris’ attempt to protect personal privacy from airborne voyeurs making news — again

Last February, the House gave an overwhelmingly bipartisan thumbs-up to Rep. Jeff Morris‘ HB 2178, a bill that would have made it a crime to invade an individual’s presumably private space with camera-equipped airborne drones.  Buoyed by that 92-6 House vote and widespread public support, the bill sailed over to the Republican-controlled Senate for consideration . . . and like so many other House bills, became a victim of that chamber’s inaction. Fast-forward a few months, and HB 2178 is … Continue reading

Washingtonians hurt by the I-5 Skagit Bridge collapse can get help

May 15, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

When the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River collapsed last year it caused damage, destruction, loss of business and heartache to local residents. In accordance with Washington state law, drivers here are liable for damage they cause to a bridge along a state highway. Both the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) as well as individuals have brought suit against the trucking company responsible, yet none have been successful. The insurance company continues to deny responsibility for any damage. WSDOT … Continue reading

Governor signs Morris bill to foster telecommunications development

March 28, 2014

Washington House Democrats

Governor signs Morris bill to foster telecommunications development

The state’s telecommunications industry will be poised to supply the burgeoning demands for service with new job-creation legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon). House Bill 2175, which Governor Inslee signed this morning, streamlines permit requirements for cellphone and wireless service expansion, with a focus on the scaled-down cell antennas and equipment installations that play an increasing role in telecommunications networks. The intent is to eliminate barriers that keep money from investment in the state telecommunications infrastructure. “The explosion … Continue reading

Morris bill for third new ferry signed by governor

March 27, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Morris bill for third new ferry signed by governor

Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1129 this morning to update the state’s aging ferry fleet with a new ship. The addition will improve transportation, reduce costs of operation and sustain hundreds of shipyard jobs. “This is a win for the entire state,” said Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon), the sole sponsor of the legislation. “Ferries support tourism, transportation efficiency and commerce. This is a bill that benefits every taxpayer.” The state’s ferry fleet—the largest in the nation—includes some boats that … Continue reading

Rep. Morris’ bills to spur economic development win House OK

February 14, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Rep. Morris’ bills to spur economic development win House OK

The state’s economy will be poised to catch the surging waves of growth in the natural gas and telecommunications industries under two job-creation proposals by Rep. Jeff Morris that won unanimous approval today in the state House.  “We’re on the verge of a Second Industrial Revolution here in North America, fueled by the abundance and low cost of our natural gas resources,” said Morris, chair of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee. “We need to make sure that we … Continue reading

Morris plan for third new ferry wins House approval

February 13, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

The state would update its aging ferry fleet with a new boat and save money on its construction under a bill approved by the House Feb. 12. “The average age of our fleet is approaching 50 years old,” said Rep. Jeff Morris, who sponsored the proposal. “We need to have boats that are built in the 21st century.” The state’s ferry fleet – the largest in the nation – includes some boats that date back to the Eisenhower Administration. The state … Continue reading

Morris energy bills get green light in House

February 13, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Morris energy bills get green light in House

The state will cut energy consumption in the short term and aim to increase energy  efficiency down the road under a pair of bills by Rep. Jeff Morris approved in the state House Feb. 12. “Smart energy policy means moving ahead with steps that we already know will work, and also planning long-term for a changing resource environment,” said Morris, chair of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee. “The goals in both cases are the same: Maximize efficiency for … Continue reading

Rep. Morris to host telephone town hall with Rep. Lytton, Sen. Ranker

February 10, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Who: State Reps.  Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, and Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, and state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island (40th Legislative District) What: Telephone town hall When: 6–7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 Where: 40th Legislative District Why: To talk live with district constituents about the issues that matter most to them and about the work of the state Legislature. Under the telephone town hall format, thousands of constituents will receive automatically generated telephone calls to their homes in the 40th Legislative … Continue reading

Legislative session keeps rolling

February 4, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Legislative session keeps rolling

Ringing in the year with Rich Riddell   Richard Riddell, Official Town Crier and resident of Anacortes, earned international recognition by winning first place at the 2013 World Invitational Town Crier Competition in Kingston, Ontario. Riddell was honored with a House resolution on Monday, Jan. 20. He is pictured here with myself and Rep. Kris Lytton. Welcome Tad and Tara! Our office has had some recent changes to the staff. I would like to welcome my new legislative assistant, Tara Nelson, and public … Continue reading

Morris bill would outlaw “revenge porn”

February 1, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Morris bill would outlaw “revenge porn”

Posting intimate, private photos on the Internet to embarrass a former romantic partner would be a crime under a proposal reviewed by a House committee Jan. 31. The measure, House Bill 2250, is aimed at so-called “revenge porn” web sites, which display nude or explicit images of people posted by ex-partners intent on harassment or humiliation. “As technology develops, there’s going to be bad deployment of that technology,”  Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, who sponsored the bill, told the House … Continue reading

Morris plan to regulate drones wins committee approval

February 1, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

Morris plan to regulate drones wins committee approval

The state government, local governments and police departments would be barred from using drone aircraft or other high-tech surveillance equipment to spy on people without legal approval, under a bill endorsed Jan. 31 by a House committee. “I believe technology is not good or evil; it’s how it’s deployed,” Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, who is the sponsor of the proposal, told the House Technology and Economic Development Committee. Morris said that developers of the stealth technology should know “where … Continue reading

Rep. Morris’ plan for third new ferry advances in House

January 30, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris

The state ferry system would gain a much-needed new boat to modernize its aging fleet under a measure approved by a House committee today. “Our state ferry system – the largest in the United States – plays a critical role in the economic and recreational life of the Puget Sound region,” said Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, who sponsored the proposal. “We need to make sure ferry travel is safe, reliable and efficient. That means replacing the system’s outdated boats, … Continue reading

Rep. Morris Elected to National Conference of State Legislatures’ Board

September 25, 2013

Rep. Jeff Morris

Representative Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) has been elected by state legislators from across the nation to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Executive Committee. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. Morris was elected at their annual meeting which took place last month in Atlanta. “I am excited to have the opportunity to join the NCSL … Continue reading

Statement from 40th District Legislators on the Skagit River Bridge Collapse

May 24, 2013

Reps. Jeff Morris and Kristine Lytton

Statement from 40th District Legislators on the Skagit River Bridge Collapse

State Representatives Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) and Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) issued the following statement regarding the collapse of the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge: “First, we would like to join all those who have commended the tremendous work of our first responders, whose actions miraculously ensured that no one lost their lives in the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge. We are grateful and thankful that we have such talented and dedicate public servants in our community. We are also … Continue reading

Governor signs Rep. Morris telecommunications bill

May 22, 2013

Rep. Jeff Morris

On the final day to sign legislation passed during the regular legislative session, Governor Inslee approved a bill by Representative Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) that will expedite regulatory review on new 4g upgrades to cellular towers and antennas. House Bill 1183 updates Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act review process regarding wireless structures, exempting those that are constructed atop existing buildings and commercial or industrial areas. This change will make the permitting process easier, reducing the regulatory burden for telecommunications companies. … Continue reading

House advances environmental, natural resource legislation

March 7, 2013

Washington House Democrats

House advances environmental, natural resource legislation

Protecting our state’s quality of life is the overarching theme of several environmental and natural resource-related measures championed by House Democrats. The House has advanced a package of bills protecting people and the environment from toxic chemicals and pollution, and promoting responsible stewardship of resources. “In order to have a strong economy that supports good jobs, we have to strive for a healthy and sustainable quality of life in our state,” said Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D – Des Moines), who … Continue reading

Rep. Morris’s Week 4 E-Newsletter

February 6, 2013

Rep. Jeff Morris

We’re already in the middle of Week Four of the 2013 session, and it has been a week packed with activity here on the capitol campus.  One way that you can keep up with what’s going on in the House is to check out the House Hot Sheet, which is updated weekly.  It lists the time and location of public hearings in the House on bills of interest. We get thousands of visitors on the campus each week.  Some are … Continue reading

Rep. Morris pushes for green-collar job growth

January 29, 2013

majeskiq

Rep. Morris pushes for green-collar job growth

Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, is making good on his promise to promote job growth in renewable energy and clean technology during the 2013 legislative session by extending and refining select tax credits. “Green-collar industries were one of a few sectors that had over 12 percent growth during the great recession. They provide family-wage jobs for our state’s residents while improving energy efficiency and keeping our environment clean,” said Morris. Morris introduced legislation – HB 1301 – that would establish … Continue reading

Rep. Morris hires new legislative assistant; relocates office for 2013 session

December 20, 2012

mcvicara

Rep. Morris hires new legislative assistant; relocates office for 2013 session

As work builds before the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) has hired Meagan Sharp to work with him as his legislative assistant. Ms. Sharp replaces Rita Sullivan who recently retired. “I’m very pleased to have Meagan working for my office and the district,” said Morris. “She’s very dedicated and has a passion for helping others.” In her new role, Ms. Sharp will coordinate their legislative office and facilitate communication with constituents. Sharp graduated from the University of … Continue reading

Morris to oversee technology and economic development initiatives in House

December 10, 2012

robertsg

Rep. Jeff Morris of Mount Vernon will play a key role in efforts to boost prosperity in Washington in the 21st century as chair of the newly formed House Technology and Economic Development Committee. Morris is a longtime leader in the field of “green”technology and entrepreneurship. He recently was named  by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to an intergovernmental advisory committee. The Technology and Economic Development Committee will consider issues relating to technology and electronic communications, small-business assistance, business financing, international trade and … Continue reading

EPA picks Rep. Morris for key advisory committee

December 6, 2012

robertsg

EPA picks Rep. Morris for key advisory committee

Rep. Jeff Morris will work to improve environmental protection in Washington state as the newly named member of a federal advisory committee. Morris, a longtime leader on environmental issues, was appointed to the Local Government Advisory Committee by federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. The committee works to develop stronger partnerships with local governments and to boost the ability of state and local agencies to deliver environmental services and programs. Morris, D-Mount Vernon, will have the chance to provide … Continue reading

Legislators call for emergency task force to identify statewide impacts of coal export proposal

November 7, 2012

mcvicara

Legislators call for emergency task force to identify statewide impacts of coal export proposal

State Representatives Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) and Kris Lytton (D-Anacortes) are calling on Gov. Chris Gregoire to establish a multi-agency task force to identify the statewide economic, transportation, and environmental impact of a proposed coal terminal near Bellingham. Under federal law the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is lead agency to conduct an area-wide review of proposals to build five coal terminals exporting 150 million tons of coal per year from Washington and Oregon to Asia. The first plan, Cherry … Continue reading

40th-district town halls scheduled!

May 24, 2012

frizzelld

Olympia – Reps. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, and Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, and Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, are reaching out to 40th-district constituents with a series of three town hall-style forums held throughout the district later in May and June. The purpose of the meetings is to review the work of the 2012 Legislature and to discuss Washington’s ongoing budget challenges and the effects on K-12 education, public services and other programs critical to local communities. Legislators will also be … Continue reading

Morris privacy proposals consistent with FTC recommendations

April 3, 2012

toyrab

OLYMPIA: Last week the Federal Trade Commission released recommendations for businesses to best protect the privacy of consumers. The report builds upon a preliminary report released back in 2010, and outlines three important goals for companies handling consumer data: privacy by design, simplified choice for businesses and consumers, and greater transparency. Here in Washington State, Representative Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) applauded the FTC recommendations. “Important technological advances are happening each day and the results are very exciting, but unfortunately consumer … Continue reading

Morris honored by Association of Washington Business

March 22, 2012

toyrab

Morris honored by Association of Washington Business

OLYMPIA: Representative Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) received a very prestigious high-five from the business community earlier this week. The Association of Washington Business presented Rep. Morris with a 2011 Cornerstone Award for his support of business in the legislature. In order to earn the Cornerstone Award, a lawmaker must support business-friendly legislation at least 80% of the time. “I’m proud to have an 82 percent voting record with business and an 80 percent lifetime voting record with organized labor*. It … Continue reading

Rep. Morris: Washington White Board – Washington Ferry System

March 12, 2012

mcvicara

Rep. Morris: Washington White Board – Energy Storage 201

February 29, 2012

mcvicara

Rep. Morris: Washington White Board – Energy Storage 101

February 29, 2012

mcvicara

Rep. Morris: Washington White Board – Cell phone texting rates and regulations

February 22, 2012

mcvicara

Morris, Lytton bill to aid local business clears House

February 12, 2012

toyrab

OLYMPIA: State Representatives Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) and Kris Lytton’s (D-Anacortes) legislation to give city councils the responsibility to review liquor license applications passed the House of Representatives unanimously on Saturday. Currently, applications are reviewed by a city’s mayor or the city manager. Rep. Morris worked with Rep. Lytton on the bill after a Mount Vernon business was denied a liquor license by the city’s then-mayor. “Liquor license applications should always be reviewed at the local level, but there is … Continue reading

Rep. Morris to hold telephone town hall

February 10, 2012

toyrab

OLYMPIA: Residents of the 40th Legislative District and members of the media are invited to participate in Representative Jeff Morris’ fourth telephone town hall on February 21st at 6:10 PM. Telephone town halls are an efficient way for Rep. Morris to stay in-touch. “I appreciate telephone town halls that save both tax dollars and pocket money for constituents who don’t have to drive to one of the other three counties in the 40th district” said Rep. Morris. 40th Legislative District … Continue reading

House passes bill to facilitate alternative energy projects

January 17, 2012

toyrab

OLYMPIA: Representative Jeff Morris’ (D-Mount Vernon) bill to aide Washington residents looking to install alternative energy projects was passed by the House of Representatives this morning. The legislation will help people in the process of developing a project, as well as local governments with limited resources or experience in alternative-energy technology permitting.   “This legislation is yet another example of how our state can support clean and alternative energy projects,” said Rep Morris. “These projects will help power homes and … Continue reading

40th LD delegation calls for Washington Center for Marine Innovation

January 16, 2012

toyrab

OLYMPIA: The Washington Center for Marine Innovation would be created under a proposal released earlier this week by Representatives Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) and Kris Lytton (D-Anacortes), as well as Senator Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island).  Modeled after Washington’s Federal Aviation Administration Center for Excellence, a public-private partnership helping facilitate research on advanced composite materials, the center would partner technical skill centers, colleges, universities, marine crafter builders, engine manufacturers, and the biofuel/alternative fuel industry with the goal of creating a more … Continue reading

West Bakerview Overpass project to begin in 2013

November 23, 2011

waldrefj

Effective public-private partnership secures state grant OLYMPIA- One of the lesser known roles of state legislators is that of constituent-advocate and consensus builder. State Representative Jeff Morris’ (D-Mount Vernon) office serves as a liaison between constituents and state agencies, as well as organizations and individuals seeking state grants. “While it’s not one of the more publicized parts of the job, it is one of the aspects that I find most rewarding” said Rep. Morris. Citizens of Bellingham will soon enjoy … Continue reading

Ranker, Morris and Lytton opening new district offices

May 9, 2011

dziedzica

OLYMPIA – The 40th District lawmakers have opened new community offices.  Sen. Kevin Ranker and Rep. Kristine Lytton will be based out of a Bellingham office, while Rep. Jeff Morris will be based out of an Anacortes office.  The two locations will help the legislators have a presence in different communities and provide a local contact for constituents looking for assistance.  Open houses will be scheduled when the Legislature finalizes for 2011. Bellingham Office 960 Harris Street, Suite 201 Bellingham, … Continue reading

Skagit Valley Hospital to keep rural distinction under new law

April 15, 2011

dziedzica

OLYMPIA – Legislation to allow Skagit Valley Hospital to continue operating under rural hospital district arrangements was signed into law today. “This change allows Skagit Valley Hospital to continue efficiently offering quality care to our communities,” said Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon.  “Small changes can sometimes have big impacts, and I’m pleased to see our neighbors will be better protected as a result.” Morris co-sponsored the House companion to the Senate Bill 5117, signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.  The change … Continue reading

Morris-sponsored clean water, green lawns bill signed into law

April 14, 2011

dziedzica

OLYMPIA – Legislation to take often-unneeded phosphorus out of lawn fertilizer was signed today by Gov. Gregoire.  Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, is the second sponsor of the measure to reduce the phosphorus getting into waterways, resulting in algae blooms and clean water issues. “Lake Whatcom is under serious threat from algae blooms,” Morris said.  “This is a common-sense solution that keeps lawn care up, but also tackles a growing health and environmental threat.” House Bill 1489 prohibits phosphorus use … Continue reading

Morris sponsors bill to fund additional 144-car ferry

April 7, 2011

dziedzica

OYLMPIA – Funding for a second 144-car ferry and $25 million in ferry service funding may become a reality thanks to legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris. Introduced today in the House, the proposal would also fund priorities like restoring the Washington State Patrol auto-theft program, funding for critical local road projects, and preserving state highways. “Our aging ferry boats are a current source of service headaches and a real liability for future problems,” said Morris, D-Mount Vernon. “This bill … Continue reading

Improved accountability, management slated for ferry system

March 21, 2011

paribelloj

OLYMPIA – The key House negotiators on the state’s Transportation budget unveiled their proposal today, a budget that outlines higher accountability and streamlined management in the Washington state ferry system (WSF). The House proposal adamantly supports the need for the three 64-car ferries currently under construction, as well as setting aside $65 million – half the funding needed – immediately for a 144-car vessel beginning in the second year of the biennium. “Above all else, we need greater accountability and … Continue reading

House Democrats maintain focus on budget, key priorities

March 7, 2011

waldrefj

OLYMPIA – Though budget discussions dominated the first half of the session, legislators in the state House passed several key measures that balance our near-term economic challenges with long-term priorities in education, jobs and the environment. “Managing our way to economic recovery and responsibly balancing the budget is our most urgent challenge this session,” said House Speaker Frank Chopp (Seattle). “But we are also protecting those things that have made Washington a state where families want to live and businesses … Continue reading

Morris bill greenlighting alternative-energy projects clears House

March 4, 2011

paribelloj

OLYMPIA – Legislation approved by the House this week will provide an additional path for Washington residents looking to install alternative energy projects, like solar panels or wind turbines. Rep. Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon) believes the proposal will not only help people developing a project, but also local governments with little resources or experience with permitting alternative-energy technology. “Clean and alternative energy are the future of our state’s energy needs, and the state needs to continue supporting new … Continue reading

Rep. Morris’ ferry management accountability passes House

March 4, 2011

paribelloj

OLYMPIA – The state House of Representatives approved by a near unanimous vote a performance accountability proposal by Rep. Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon) directed at the Washington Ferry System. After weeks of negotiations, Morris and his fellow “ferry caucus” lawmakers crafted a new version that requires WSF to meet certain performance targets or find themselves under new private management. Morris’ bill sets timelines for meeting performance goals. If those aren’t met, then the public management team will be … Continue reading

Rep. Morris’ energy-conservation bill passes House

February 26, 2011

dziedzica

OLYMPIA – Energy-conservation crusader Jeff Morris achieved another victory in the state House today, passing a bill that adds several consumer products and power supplies to a growing list that must meet certain minimum energy consumption standards. Rep. Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon) urged House lawmakers to keep Washington a world leader in energy efficiency by voting in support of his legislation. “Energy efficiency is our best and easiest way of dealing with future power needs and reducing current … Continue reading

Rep. Morris ferry accountability bill passes key hurdle in the House

February 23, 2011

paribelloj

OLYMPIA – After weeks of negotiations, the House Transportation committee moved out a proposal by Rep. Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon) that shakes up the Washington Ferry System. Morris worked with stakeholders, ferry management, and his fellow lawmakers to craft an amended version of his original bill, requiring WSF to meet certain performance targets or find themselves under new private management. “It’s time to try something new,” Morris said. “We can either push management to realize some cost-savings, we … Continue reading

Rep. Morris hosts tele-town hall, talks ferry system reform with island residents

February 11, 2011

paribelloj

Click the link below for the audio from Rep. Morris’ most recent tele-town hall, Wednesday, Feb. 9th, in which he discusses ferry reform with 40th District residents. Morris TTH 2-9-11

Ferry reforms would cut waste, bring parity and efficiencies

January 24, 2011

waldrefj

OLYMPIA – The state ferry system would eliminate wasteful practices, adopt operating efficiencies and bring ferry employees’ compensation in line with other state employees under a package of reforms introduced today by key Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. “It’s no secret that the ferry system isn’t run as efficiently as it should be and needs to be,” said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, who as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee has sought to reform the … Continue reading

State construction budget brings needed funds to Pickford Theater, San Juan Farmer’s Market

April 13, 2010

waldrefj

OLYMPIA – With the clock running out in Olympia, the House of Representatives passed a Capital Budget that includes two projects supported by local State Representative Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon), bringing an influx of funding and improving the quality of life in the 40th Legislative District. The state Capital Budget supports infrastructural projects around the state – everything from school construction to park restoration. It spurs economic development, creating jobs, as well as sustaining historical monuments in Washington. … Continue reading