Legislative update from Rep. Hansen

Now that the 2014 legislative session is over, I wanted to share what I’ve been working on. As in past years, I’ve been focused on jobs, and several of my jobs bills are now law.

First, the governor recently signed one of my bills to protect jobs in the marine industry by getting derelict boats out of the water.  This bill (HB 2457) was the product of a true bipartisan effort over many months: It was co-sponsored by nearly as many Republicans as Democrats, and it’s a bill that won praise from Republicans.  Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, the chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee, spoke in favor of my bill, saying, “We’re making a legitimate effort to keep our waterways very clean.  We want our sound to be pristine, and our coastlines.”

Second, the governor also signed one of my bills to support low-income students pursuing science and high-technology careers.  This bill (HB 2612) also passed with strong bipartisan support, and the Bainbridge Island Review featured it in a recent article headlined, “Hansen bill to boost college opportunity signed by Gov. Inslee.”

Third, the House passed a bill of mine (HB 2694) to help more low-income students attend college.  The Senate did not have time to consider this in bill in the short session; it would have sent customized information to academically gifted low-income students to inform them of their college and financial aid options.  Once more, this bill drew strong support among Republicans: Republican Rep. Chad Magendanz of Issaquah said on the House floor, “I actually love this bill. We talk about the achievement gap and the opportunity gap, and here is a great opportunity to narrow both.”

As you can see, I have focused on common-sense, pragmatic legislation to protect existing jobs, expand jobs in critical sectors of the economy and train our students for the jobs we are creating.  I am very proud that my bills have consistently attracted broad support from both Republicans and Democrats, proving that in Washington state, we can still work across party lines to solve problems.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.  This will be my last official legislative e-memo for some time, as legislative ethics rules strictly govern the communications I can send from my legislative account in an election year.  But I have very much enjoyed the opportunity to represent all of you in the Legislature, and please feel free to email me, as always, with any questions or thoughts. My direct email is drew.hansen@leg.wa.gov and our office phone number is 360-786-7842.

Sincerely yours,

Drew Hansen