OLYMPIA — Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, was recently named Legislator of the Year by the Association of Washington Business (AWB) during the 2017 Evening of Excellence.
Warnick previously served in the state House of Representatives from 2007 to 2014, when she decided to run for the state Senate. She currently serves as the chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade and Economic Development committees and serves on the Ways and Means and Early Learning and K-12 Education committees. The AWB Governmental Affairs Council voted to give Warnick, who is a member of the AWB Board, the award for her work to support small businesses.
“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Warnick said. “I have worked to expand opportunity and limit unnecessary regulations that hurt small businesses, which are a key driver of our state’s economy, especially in small and rural communities.”
The council also gave Warnick the award for her work on water issues, including her effort to find a solution to the state Supreme Court’s controversial Hirst ruling. The court ruled in Whatcom versus Hirst that counties have an obligation to determine whether well drilling has an effect on surface water before allowing exempt wells to be drilled. Warnick has be working around the clock to find a legislative solution to Hirst, which has left counties with in-stream flow rules. Officials with Washington Federal have stated they will limit home loans in the state because of Hirst.
“When the 2017 legislative session started, I knew that the Hirst ruling was going to be a significant issue,” Warnick said. “While we had work to do to address education, rural families and local governments needed a permanent fix to Hirst – something I am still fighting for. Ensuring families have access to water in my community is critical for continued economic development in parts of our state that haven’t seen the same kind of economic recovery enjoyed by those in the greater Puget Sound.”
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.