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19th District Telephone Town Hall

January 28, 2014

Senator Brian Hatfield and Representatives Brian Blake and Dean Takko took questions directly from residents on Monday.

The legislators spoke to “Andy” about a Cost of Living Allowance for teachers, saying that when they visited Grays Harbor recently, this topic was a main focus.

Hatfield spoke to Andy, saying that when they talked to local teachers, cost of living was not their top priority. Class size, testing, and other concerns also face local teachers and Hatfield said, “Teachers have been beat up over the last several years, especially during the recession.” He said that the state is recovering, and more money is coming to education.

“Rick” called into the teletownhall regarding increasing the minimum wage. Representative Brian Blake said his concern is where the money will come from.

“Where do we find the money in the state budget is the concern, so generally support increasing minimum wages but have concerns about our ability to pay for it this year.”

When the topic of marijuana came up by “Francis”, the lead concern was how many people it will really impact. The legislators said that they are following the passage of I-502, they are doing whatever they can to find the resources needed to support the measure.

Representative Takko said, “The voters voted to have recreational marijuana, and if that’s the will of the people, whether I agree or not, I think we have to abide by the will of the people on this vote.”

Representative Takko spoke towards the various moratoriums being voted on in cities throughout Washington, and said that this is going against the will of the people.

Takko stated, “This was a statewide initiative, and we shouldn’t have a patchwork of, one county on city has it, the next one doesn’t. It should be consistent across the state.”

“Terry” called in, asking what the benefits of passing a transportation package would be for our local roads. All 3 legislators touched on Grays Harbor and Pacific County projects, but Senator Brian Hatfield spoke specifically about the Simpson Avenue Bridge and the issues it has had with maintenance, saying “it could be devastating to the economy in Grays Harbor if that bridge has to close.”

“George”, a former employee of Harbor Paper, Grays Harbor Paper, and ITT Rayonier, called in saying that finding a job is getting harder and harder.

Representative Blake told George that he grew up in South Aberdeen and saw the impacts of mill closures, and the need to attract new business with family wage jobs has never been greater.

If you did not get a chance to speak to the legislators and would like to contact them personally;

Sen. Brian Hatfield
PO Box 40419
Olympia, WA 98504-0419
(360) 786-7636

Rep. Brian Blake
437A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7870

Rep. Dean Takko
336 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7806

19th District

Categories: Harbor News
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