Greetings! This week, Olympia and most of Western Washington saw snow blanket most of the region, causing the Legislature to take a “Snow Day” on Monday. Hearings resumed on Tuesday and I have been busy reading bills, visiting with constituents and hearing from stakeholders during this 105-day session.
I am pleased that four bills I sponsored were heard in committee this week. They include:
Senate Bill 5620 would establish a pilot project for improved elk fencing. After meeting numerous times with stakeholders in the district, it is clear that the increasing number of elk on the valley floor is jeopardizing highway safety and damaging agriculture. Farmers and ranchers say the state isn’t doing enough to help fix the problem. My proposal would test a different kind of barrier called the New Zealand design that is a stronger and taller fence and in some applications will allow smaller wildlife to pass under while providing an enhanced barrier to keep the elk off farmland. If proven effective, this fencing could be utilized to improve safety along State Route 20.
Senate Bill 5763 was brought to me by a group of antique tractor-trailer and truck collectors in the district who participate in antique truck shows and events. This bill would allow them to qualify as a truck collector and be exempt from obtaining a commercial driver’s license if the truck is more than 30 years old and is used only occasionally to and from truck conventions, auto shows, parades and vehicle club meetings. These trucks are an important part of our history and deserve to be preserved.