2018 Legislative Accomplishments

Fish and wildlife data legislation becomes law
My House Bill 2307 that requires the release of sensitive fish and wildlife data to be subject to a confidentiality agreement has been signed law. This legislation will help protect important information related to wildlife locations, land management, catch data, scientific research and private property.

As a legislative member of the Sunshine Committee this issue was brought to the committee’s attention that the law pertaining to the release of sensitive fish and wildlife data needed to be tightened. I drafted legislation to address the concern. This law will encourage working forest landowners to be partners in species recovery, as it allows them to share data with researchers and resource managers knowing it will be kept confidential.

Transparency of textbook costs
Last session I passed a bill to add transparency to textbook costs in community and technical colleges. House Bill 1375 provides community and technical college (CTC) students with the costs of required textbooks and course materials before the students sign up for class. Additionally, it encourages use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for shared online textbooks. Thanks to the local students from Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College who were helpful in passing this legislation.

Expanding opportunities for career and technical college students
Working closely with a Democratic colleague I successfully amended House Bill 2177 to benefit Whatcom County. This new law will assist CTC students earning certificates, credentials and associate degrees for high demand jobs in rural communities. My amendment added our county to be eligible to receive Washington State Opportunity Scholarships. This is a great win for local CTC students and rural Whatcom County employers.