Letter from Olympia, week 2

Senator Hans Zeiger 25th District Letter from Olympia

2018 Legislative Session Begins

It has been a busy two weeks in Olympia since the 2018 legislative session began on Jan. 8. There have been a number of meetings, hearings and late-night floor votes in recent days, and I am happy to report that we have come to an agreement on the "Hirst" water rights bill and the capital (construction) budget. More details are below.

I continue to make education one of my top priorities and remain dedicated to serving kids in Washington, this year as the ranking Republican on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

I also serve on the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee.

During the legislative session it's a privilege to meet with people from our community who are in Olympia to advocate for their priorities or specific legislation. Since the beginning of this session I have spent time with firefighters, teachers, Realtors, and homebuilders, as well as a reading tutor named Sylvia Davison who you can read about below.

Along with other legislators and thousands of law enforcement officers and community members, I attended the memorial service for fallen Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney on Wednesday at Pacific Lutheran University. I was moved by testimonies of Deputy McCartney’s commitment to service, as well as his love for God and his family. He is “gone but not forgotten.”

As the legislative session gets underway, please do not hesitate to contact me directly with your questions and ideas. It is an honor to serve as your state senator.



Water rights and capital budget

Since last spring legislators have been working to find a solution to problems caused by the Supreme Court’s “Hirst” decision from 2016, and pass a new capital budget to pay for public construction projects and other capital projects and assets in our state. Negotiations continued following the end of the 2017 legislative session and this week, Democrats and Republicans struck a compromise. Both the House of Representatives and Senate passed these two important bills last night. Here is a little more information:

Key effects of the Hirst solution (Senate Bill 6091):

  • Authorizes the use of new wells throughout the state – some new conditions may apply depending on the watershed
  • Clarifies the relationship between local permitting authorities and the state Department of Ecology to help provide greater certainty for permit applicants going forward
  • Establishes local planning committees to recommend stream enhancement projects and other local standards in certain watersheds – the Legislature intends to fund the projects
  • Creates a task force to make recommendations about finding ways to make water available for growth in municipalities and authorizes some pilot projects that will allow water rights to be granted

Capital budget projects in the 25th Legislative District (Senate Bill 6090):

  • $1.4 million for the Step-By-Step Family Support Center
  • $11.42 million for the Clarks Creek Hatchery Rebuild
  • $500,000 for the Puyallup Meeker Mansion Public Plaza
  • $980,000 for the Franklin Pierce Early Learning Center

  • $1.38 million for Wesley Homes Bradley Park

Helping kids learn to read

This week retired teacher and longtime reading tutor Sylvia Davison came to Olympia to testify before the Senate Early Learning and K-12 committee on my bill, SB 6162, and the importance of screening kindergarten and first-grade students for dyslexia.

Click here to watch Sylvia testify on SB 6162.

Sylvia, dyslexia

Apply for the Page Program!

Students aged 14-16 are still able to get their applications in for the Senate Page Program, but we’re asking you to get them in by Jan. 29 so we can make sure to get you in.

The Senate Page Program brings students to the state Capitol for a week to learn about our state government and get hands-on experience with the legislative process. Page openings are limited.

Click here for more information