Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I'd like to thank all of you who attended my town hall meetings on Nov. 14 and 15. It was great to see engaged citizens having meaningful conversations focusing on solutions for our communities and state.
For those of you who were unable to attend the town halls, please do not hesitate to contact me, especially if you have any concerns, questions or comments about legislative or state issues that may be before us in the 2020 legislative session. I have spent the past several months in our district touring schools and local community projects. Additionally I have been meeting with constituents, groups and organizations to listen and learn about the issues that matter most to Whatcom County. Your continued input is important to me.
We plan on holding a roundtable discussion in early January, before the legislative session, to discuss further the Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement rates impacting nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. I will keep you updated on the details of this meeting as we get them.
Saving our orcas, increasing our salmon population
If you have been following my work this interim, you are aware one of my priority issues is addressing our decreasing salmon population. In case you missed it, I want to bring your attention to my column that was in many of Whatcom County's weekly newspapers. Click here to read how we can increase our supply of salmon sustainably.
Also, The Bellingham Herald ran a very informative article on the issue entitled “This Bellingham waterfront proposal could help save the orca population.”
I hope you will take the time to read them. The hatcheries in Alaska operate differently than in Washington and are extremely successful. We have an incredible opportunity to implement a similar model that would provide permanent benefits for our tribal, commercial and recreational fisheries – as well as restore the salmon population for the benefit of the southern-resident orca whales.
House Page Program
I want to remind you that our local students have a great opportunity to serve in the House Page Program in the Washington State Legislature during the upcoming session.
I have sponsored several pages during my time in Olympia. Every page who has served has told me they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Pages must be between the ages of 14-16. They must get permission from their parents and school. Pages are also paid $35 a day. You can access the page application here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Olympia office.
If you plan to be in Olympia during the session, I encourage you to contact my office in advance to schedule a time to meet. It is always great to see the friendly faces from Whatcom Country during the session.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you!
Luanne Van Werven