After 135 days of regular and special session, the Legislature adjourned Sine Die Wednesday evening—marking the end of a session largely shaped by a nearly $5 billion revenue shortfall.
Despite the fiscal challenges facing the state, Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was pleased with what he was able to accomplish on behalf of the 44th Legislative District during the 2011 legislative session.
“I was very proud to be a part of the Senate last night,” Sen. Hobbs said. “We faced an unprecedented challenge, but we were able to put our differences aside and work together toward the best interests of our constituents and for the state as a whole.”
“It was also a most satisfying experience to work on and pass what I think was some really great pieces of legislation for the people of the 44th District.”
Sen. Hobbs pointed to his work and the work of fellow moderate Democrats on issues such as unemployment insurance reform, a change which extended benefits to jobless Washingtonians as well as gave much needed tax relief to the state’s businesses.
Acquiring funding for a long-awaited and much needed waste water treatment plant in Snohomish County was also counted among Sen. Hobbs’ wins. Without the plant, which was included as part of the Capital budget, water rates in the area would have continued to skyrocket.
Sen. Hobbs also cited victories on preserving valuable social programs such as children’s health and HB 1362, the Foreclosure Fairness Act, which he worked on closely as Chair of the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance.The following bills sponsored by Sen. Hobbs are also set to become law:
• Senate Bill 5540 - Gives the state’s school districts the option to install safety cameras on school bus stop signs in an effort to catch motorists who fail to stop for them.
• Senate Bill 5791 -Clears the way for local transit agencies to begin contracting with private vendors to provide services such as coffee stands, small restaurants, grocery stores and other conveniences at many of the state’s more than 270 park and ride locations. Funds collected from the program will go to the state’s multimodal transportation account.
• Senate Bill 5171 – Will give military and overseas voters more time to participate in elections by pushing the primary election back two weeks and directing candidates running for office to file three weeks earlier. Overseas and military ballots will be mailed two weeks earlier for the general election and four weeks earlier for the primary.