Legislative Update: Floor Action, Derelict Vessels, and Town Hall

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week the House started full time floor action. As the Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore, I will take turns presiding over the House floor as we debate and vote on legislation as a body. While we have passed bills throughout the legislative session, the bulk of bills passed this year will be passed this week. Read on to learn more about the first bill I passed this week as well as get information on the 28th District Town Hall.

Derelict Vessel Removal

Derelict Research Vessel Hero

With thousands of miles of coastline, Washington is a natural wonderland and the home to thousands of vessels. However, when a boat is abandoned or comes loose from its moorings, it can quickly become dangerous to our environment and a hazard to navigation. That is why Washington has a Derelict Vessels Removal Program. This program, run by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), allows DNR to take custody of a derelict vessel and remove it, charging the owner of that vessel for the cost of doing so. This keeps our aquatic life safe from oil and gas spills and prevents nautical accidents.

I first became interested in this topic with my time on West Pierce Fire & Rescue’s Fireboat Endeavor. Several times we have come across vessels that are adrift. Unfortunately, we don’t really have anywhere to put these vessels. Because boat owners must be given an opportunity to claim their derelict vessels they often end up sitting at public docks for weeks on end, taking up space from other boats and creating a hazard for people who want to use our public resources. My bill, HB 1753, simply speeds up the timeline for removal of a derelict vessel, still ensuring that owners have due process, but also allowing DNR to more quickly remove a hazard from our waterways. The bill also allows for notice of a derelict vessel to be emailed instead of mailed and removes a costly provision that requires a notice to be published in a newspaper prior to DNR taking custody of a vessel. HB 1752 passed the House unanimously on Monday and is now on to the Senate.

Save the Date: 28th District In-Person Town Hall

Town Hall Graphic (info below)

Who: 28th District Representatives Mari Leavitt and Dan Bronoske, moderated by: DuPont Mayor Ron Frederick & Lakewood Deputy Mayor Mary Moss.

What: 28th District In-Person Town Hall

When: Saturday, March 18, 2023, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Clover Park Technical College, Rotunda of Building 3, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

Why: To provide constituents an update on the legislative session and answer their questions on issues under consideration in the legislature. Feel free to submit questions ahead of time: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28thLDTownHall.

If you have comments, questions, or ideas, please contact my office. I hope to hear from you soon!