OLYMPIA – Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, released the following statement today on the reorganization of the Washington Senate Democrats’ leadership and recommended committee membership:

“I congratulate Sen. Ed Murray on his election as Senate majority leader and the actions he has taken to represent the many different points of view within the Democratic Caucus. Already, Sen. Murray has shown tremendous skill in leadership and being open to others’ thoughts and suggestions. We face a narrowly divided Senate chamber and, more than ever, we will need to see bipartisanship and cooperation between Senate Republicans and Democrats, and members from rural, urban and suburban districts.

“The recommendation of my friend and neighbor Jim Hargrove as chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee is a well-deserved honor and a smart move for the Senate. Sen. Hargrove has had a brilliant, 28-year career in the Legislature and is famous for brokering deals between different parties and interest groups to the greater benefit of the state. I am excited to serve with him on that committee

“In chairing the Senate Agriculture, Trade & Economic Development committee, I hope to continue my career-long goal of creating jobs for the residents of Washington state. The combination of agriculture and trade under the direction of one committee is a logical fit. From cattle to crops, agriculture represents the single largest export in our state and is responsible for thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. The economic development aspect of this committee is a tremendous opportunity and centers on job creation, the focal point of my entire legislative career. It allows me to go beyond chasing smokestacks and creating manufacturing jobs for rural Washington, to continuing and improving our relationship with Boeing, Microsoft and the bio-tech industry to ensure that we continue to lead the nation in those areas. In addition, I hope to use my position as committee chair to improve state assistance for the tourism industry. Hailing from a region famous for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities, I know full well the value of heads in beds and the millions of dollars they can bring to Washington.

“I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Sen. Steve Hobbs on the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing, Insurance & Telecommunications committee. Telecommunications and access to broadband continue to be big issues for rural Washington and I am excited to lend my experiences in those areas to the work of this committee.

“We face many challenges in the coming session and a very narrow divide between parties in the Senate. However, I am confident that if we work together and look beyond party affiliation, we can do great things for the people of the State of Washington.”

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