Kilmer Releases Detailed Economic Development Plan for Olympic Peninsula

    In light of the persistent high unemployment rate on the Olympic Peninsula and after months of meetings with constituents to discuss ways to improve the economy, today Representative Derek Kilmer released the Olympic Peninsula Economic Development Initiative. This six-point plan lays out ideas, bills, and tools to strengthen the foundations of economic growth, promote innovation […]

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  • Federal government shutdown does not affect AMBER Alerts

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Patrol is reminding both the public and other law enforcement agencies that the AMBER Alert system is in full operation despite the shutdown of the federal government.


    “We’re hearing of incorrect reports on both mainstream and social media about the status of the AMBER Alert System,” said Carri Gordon, AMBER Alert Coordinator for the Washington State Patrol. “The system is in full operation, and ready to help recover an abducted child.”


    Although there is some federal coordination of the overall AMBER Alert program, each state has its own distribution system for alerts. Washington’s alerts are distributed by a private contractor that is in no way affected by the federal government shutdown.

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  • Washington health exchange ready to launch – regardless of federal government shutdown

    SEATTLE (AP) – Politicians and administrators launching Washington’s new health care exchange on Tuesday say nothing will stop the state from signing people up for health insurance.

    They’re not concerned about technical glitches or being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls and web traffic. They are prepared to take comments and complaints from the public. And they say the debate in the other Washington won’t affect Washington Healthplanfinder, even if there is a federal government shutdown.

    State Sen. Karen Keiser says the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and nothing that happens in Washington, D.C., this week will change that. She doesn’t expect protests to disrupt the launch. She adds, however, that the first open enrollment period will last six months, so early protests will not stop what she calls this landmark in history.


    Associated Press

    Starting today, uninsured residents in Grays Harbor County can enroll in quality, affordable health plans simply by calling or visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org Coverage begins on January 1, 2014.

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  • State Representative Derek Kilmer urges Congress to avoid shutdown

    PORT ANGELES, Wash. – State Representative Derek Kilmer spoke on the floor of the House this morning to urge Congress to stop partisan games and avoid a government shutdown. “As we all know on September 30th the government will run out of funding.”
    The Democratic Congressman explained how the shutdown could affect his constituents. “For folks back home on the Olympic Peninsula, and around Puget Sound, a shutdown would have serious consequences. Troops in JBLM and workers of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard could go without pay. Olympic National Park could close to tourists. Senior citizens could be delayed in receiving checks for Social Security, [and] veterans may go without the benefits and care that they have earned.”
    Much of the federal government will cease operation in 10 days unless Congress passes new legislation, referred to as a continuing resolution, to keep the lights on.  Meanwhile House republicans are hoping to use the legislation to defund obamacare, with an amendment to prohibit funding to implement the new healthcare law.
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  • Offshore Wind Projects

    Pacific Northwest Offshore Wind Energy Project to receive DOE support

    As a part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced the selection of three pioneering offshore wind demonstrations to receive up to $47 million each over the next four years to deploy innovative, grid-connected systems in federal and state waters by 2017. These projects – including one spearheaded by Washington-based Principle […]

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  • Harbor Manor in Hoquiam among statewide housing purchase

    TUKWILLA, Wash. – When a portfolio of nine privately owned Section 8-assisted housing complexes located in five counties scattered across Washington state was offered for sale last spring, the King County Housing Authority spearheaded a collaborative effort to purchase it. The housing authorities of Bremerton, Grays Harbor County, Yakima, and Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee participated in assuring the preservation of a total of 337 homes within the various communities.

    “If they lost their housing because it got too expensive, they couldn’t take a second job to pencil it out. Now they can sleep at night in a safe, stable place to live, which is what anybody would want for their mom or dad, grandma or grandpa.”

    The unusual collective strategy – which represents the most wide-ranging state initiative to date to preserve existing subsidized housing – was necessary because the seller wanted to dispose of the portfolio as a single sale. Failure to acquire even one of the nine properties would have resulted in failure to preserve any of the properties. The current owner, who was also the initial developer and long-term owner of the properties, worked with the housing authority to try to assure long-term preservation of these apartments as affordable housing.

    “Preserving existing subsidized housing is the most cost-effective way to maintain the supply of affordable rental apartments,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority. “Working with the state Department of Commerce, King County government and housing authorities across the state, we have been able to protect 337 low-income households, the vast majority of them senior citizens, from being forced from their homes – and at the same time, have preserved for the long-term, crucial local housing resources.”

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  • Washington state parks remain open – Federal shutdown does not affect state parks operations

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – As news of the Federal Government shutdown reaches the public today, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission reminds visitors that state parks remain open and available as normal, moving into the fall and winter season. 

    The fall season in Washington typically is inviting to visitors, as fall colors and intermittent sunny weather lures recreationists out to enjoy parks for overnight RV and other camping, for daytime activities such as hiking and biking and for special vacation house rental stays in historic houses, cabins and yurts. The Federal Government shutdown reportedly includes national parks and U.S. Forest Service offices and sites. 

    Most state park day-use areas and many campgrounds in the Washington state park system remain open year-round, though specific areas within some parks have partial closures or limited access as winter gets under way. The State Parks winter schedule will be finalized and made available later this month so visitors can plan trips and continue to enjoy state parks. 

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  • Rep. Derek Kilmer statement on Federal Government shutdown

    Representative Derek Kilmer released the following statement after the news that the House and Senate did not reach a compromise by October 1st on legislation to keep federal agencies funded. Yesterday, Representative Derek Kilmer announced he will give up his pay for the duration of a government shutdown.

    A government shutdown will cause roughly half of the government’s civilian workforce, about 1.2 million employees to face furloughs.  Additionally, national parks will close, veterans’ disability payments may be disrupted, and there will be a suspension of approval of applications for Small Business Loans. It is estimated that a government shutdown will cost taxpayers $150 million a day.

    “The fact that some in Congress would risk a shutdown in order to score political points demonstrates why Congress is currently held in lower regard than head lice,” said Representative Derek Kilmer. “I’m voluntarily giving up my own pay during this shutdown because I believe in leading by example.  Unfortunately, many federal employees in our region unfortunately won’t have a say about losing theirs.  They’ll be furloughed and lose pay through no fault of their own.  These employees and the folks who depend on their work deserve better.” 

    One of Representative Kilmer’s first actions in Congress was to break with members of his party to vote for a plan called No Budget, No Pay – a plan that would withhold pay from Members of Congress if Congress doesn’t pass a budget.

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