Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rep. Hunter hosts telephone town hall

Rep. Ross Hunter of Medina will host a telephone town hall 6-7 p.m. Monday, May 14. He looks forward to a live conversation with his constituents about the issues that matter most to his district and the state.

Under the telephone town hall format, thousands of constituents will receive telephone calls to their homes in Rep. Hunter’s 48th Legislative District just before 6 p.m. Monday. The constituents may ask questions for him to answer by pressing *3 on their phones during the call, and they may listen to the live conversation to hear questions from others and answers.

Residents who do not receive a phone call may participate in the meeting by calling 1-877-229-8493 and entering the ID code 18646 when prompted.

To read this story in Spanish, please click here.

Attention, all you Civics Enthusiasts who been missin' your legislative ins and outs

Yo. It's been weeks since that final gavel banged the 2012 Washington State Legislature into adjournment. And yes, your friendly neighborhood HDC Advance here knows very good and well that you're wanting -- jonesing, fact is, like nobody's business -- a sweet hit of State Government Talk. Well, jones no more.

The House of Representatives Office of Program Research has just now released the final Sine Die report. This fetching, in-depth chronicle covers legislation taken up in the 2012 Regular Session as well as the 1st & 2nd Special Sessions. Shucks, this thing even has state-legislative stuff from the 2011 2nd Special Session that went down, as you might recall, late last year. Word!

So, and in conclusion, you really need to check out this enlightening publication. Check it out if, that is, these are the sorts of numbers that get your motor running:
  • 1,271 - Bills introduced in the 2012 Regular Session
  • 262 - Bills passed in the 2012 Regular Session
  • 29 - Bills introduced in the 1st & and Special Sessions
  • 17 - Bills passed in the 1st & and Special Sessions
To read this story in Spanish, please click here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cracking down on the commercial sex industry

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and dozens of other U.S. mayors have called on the operators of the classified-ad web site to require escorts advertising on the site to prove they are at least 18 by providing a photo ID.

The move is the latest attempt to pressure, a leading sex-services ad site, to rein in underage prostitution – and it follows a Democratic-led, bipartisan initiative in the 2012 legislative session that yielded a crack-down bill signed into law by Gov. Gregoire. That measure, Senate Bill 6251, makes it a crime for a site operator or publisher to produce an advertisement for a commercial sex act that includes a photograph of a minor. As a legal defense, the operator or publisher may present proof it required a government-issued ID showing the advertiser was at least 18.

That bill was one of several passed by the 2012 Legislature that target the commercial sex industry, including House Bill 2692, sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall of Des Moines. To read more about the package, click here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nearly 400 new jobs coming to Washington through DOE grants

The Washington state Department of Ecology estimates that approximately 393 jobs will be created in Washington through the Coordinated Prevention Grants program.

Cut-away of a compost bin
Photo credit: BruceMcAdam
The department awarded $18.8 million to 95 city and county governments through this environmental protection program. Every two years, these grants are awarded to help Washington’s communities better manage solid and household wastes, prevent illegal dumping, and to promote recycling and composting programs.

You may remember this blog post and that composting is a great alternative to burning household organic waste, which releases toxic particles into the air.

The funding for these grants comes from an initiative passed by Washington residents in 1988, which taxes wholesale distributors of petroleum and other hazardous materials. The Legislature approved $18.8 million to be used for these grants.

The local governments receiving the grants are required to match the grant amount by 25%, which the Dept. of Ecology estimates will leverage more than $25 million to support local programs.

To read more, click here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

On April 28, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration sponsored the fourth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. With more than 5,600 collection sites set up across the United States, the event was a great success.

97 collection sites were operating in Washington and, as a result, approximately 13,426 pounds of prescription medications were collected. A whopping 822 pounds of medications were collected at the five locations hosted by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

In a nationwide effort to combat prescription drug abuse, this event was originally started in 2010 by the DEA. As a result, citizens are provided with an annual opportunity to get their old prescription drugs out of their medicine cabinets and dispose of them safely, anonymously and for free.

For more information, check out this article in The News Tribune.