Rep. Bill Jenkin has trio of bills signed into law by governor

The power of constituency is a key component in the legislative process in Olympia. Sixteenth District Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, saw how beneficial his constituents’ voices are through a trio of bills recently signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1563 enhances educational opportunities for the next generation of winemakers throughout the state. College and technical schools will be eligible to receive a Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) special permit allowing the tasting of alcohol by underage students enrolled in specific programs. The permit will expand tasting opportunities to students at their enrolled college or technical school, and during field trips to grape-growing areas or production facilities. Underage students will be required to be accompanied by someone over 21 years of age during the tastings. This permit will also be valid for interns.

“Wine production continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in Washington state. Many colleges and technical schools now offer winemaking as a major. Students, teachers and local winemakers brought an important challenge to my attention. There is an inability for most students, ages 18-20, to taste wine in the classroom,” said Jenkin. “Anyone in the industry will tell you, tasting during production is key to ensuring the science, ingredients and processes are done correctly. The capability of allowing underage students to fully participate in the tasting component is an integral part of their learning experience. My bill provides the tool for the right hands-on experience students need to become the next generation of successful winemakers.”

House Bill 1499 authorizes public facilities districts (PFDs) to establish recreational facilities. Local PFDs must obtain voter approval to fund a specific project. Enactment of the bill creates an opportunity and a mechanism for those citizens in the City of Pasco to affirm whether they would like to build an aquatics facility.

“Each local municipality within our district has their own needs. The City of Pasco has been trying for many years to find a way to bring a new aquatics center into the city. They came to me asking how we could work together to give a single-city PFD the authority to build something like the aquatics center,” said Jenkin. “My bill is the answer and provides the opportunity to clarify the need for local control, and voter approval, around facilities that communities want within their boundaries. The hard work that went into this bill shows when local and state government work together toward a common goal, our communities reap the benefits.”

House Bill 1469 modifies current provisions relating to how drivers approach emergency and work zone vehicles by requiring drivers passing these vehicles to reduce their speed, change lanes, and move away from the vehicles. Drivers will need to reduce their speed to at least 10 miles-per-hour below the posted speed limit if changing lanes, or moving away from the vehicle is unsafe.

“This bill shows the power of our district’s constituency, and that by working hand-in-hand on the policies that have the largest impact, great solutions happen. My local tow truck drivers brought this problem to my attention. They wanted to know if there was anything that could be done to get drivers to slow down when approaching them on our roadways,” said Jenkin. “I’m glad the Legislature, and the governor, are taking this proactive approach in showing the hard-working men and women of our transportation road crews, tow truck drivers, firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first responders that their lives matter. My bill is about safety, bringing awareness to an increasing problem, and saving lives.”

Jenkin’s bills will go into effect later this year.


Washington State House Republican Communications