OLYMPIA, Wash. - Senator Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam has been recommended by Majority Leader Ed Murray to serve as the new chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Hargrove comes to the position as the Senate’s most experienced legislator, having served as chair and ranking member of the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee for over 20 years. Hargrove said "Hopefully I will be able to bring my 28 years of experience to bear on the budget problems of the state of Washington and we’ll be able to get the budget done, make things work for the citizens of the state and be as efficient and effective as possible.”
Hargrove’s record in the Senate includes building several compromises between Democrats and Republicans which resulted in major reforms in Washington state’s criminal sentencing, prison system and community supervision services. Senator Murray has also recommended Senator Sharon Nelson to serve as vice chair of the committee, a post traditionally charged with writing the state’s capital construction budget, which funds educational, environmental and economic development construction projects statewide.