Fiercely independent of special interests. A work horse instead of a show horse. A record of working with both parties to find solutions. An international leader in clean energy policy. This is what I bring to the table for serving you in Olympia.
Many of the policies I have created spurred growth in the clean energy sector -- the only growing economic sector during the recession. A law I passed in 2005 called "integrated resource planning" makes our utilities look at life-cycle risk of new electricity generation instead of just fuel cost like cheap coal. That new law stopped over 1,500 megawatts of new coal power being purchased to cleaner and greener resources years before the renewable portfolio standard went into effect.
New laws and policies I've worked on over the last decade have put Washington State in the top ten states for new energy technologies. I would like to continue my work in this area to keep us at the front of the pack.
My work in the private sector also reflects my passion for this economic sector. I co-founded the Northwest Energy Angels which has invested over $6.5 million dollars in northwest energy start-up companies over the past few years. I am currently starting another group that is looking at energy storage technologies.
I will continue my work with Sen. Ranker and Rep. Kris Lytton to oppose the coal-only facility at Cherry Point. I believe it is critical we have a National Environmental Policy Act review of all proposed Pacific coal export terminals.
I've been a leader in privacy. The Radio Frequency Identification Law was the first privacy protection passed by a state for consumers. I sponsored a bill to establish fair and open process for red-light camera use by local governments. I fought to create a committee with oversight for new technologies -- one of the first in the USA-- because technology advancement often gets deployed ahead of our state laws.
When we were writing the Radio Frequency Identification Law, the first meeting had 140 lobbyists from Sacramento to Washington D.C. and only two consumer watchdog groups. Big money was to be made by business in gathering and recording your consumer habits with these chips. We stood up to special interests for your interest. I want to continue this type of work on your behalf.
I am particularly proud of fighting for WWU funding during our budget crises. WWU has always been the most cost-efficient in graduating students. Because they were already the leanest, when across the board cuts from the state occurred, they were disproportionately harmed. We changed the formula for cuts, recognizing their efficiencies, instead of punishing them.
Fighting to restore funding to higher education will be a top priority for me the next two years. The cuts we have made to higher education are the equivalent of cutting your sales force just before coming out of a recession. Our state is creating jobs that will be filled by out-of-state workers unless we develop a quality workforce. Sustainable ferry and transportation funding for district projects will also continue to be a priority. I was pleased to bring together the City of Bellingham, Port of Bellingham, Washington State Department of Transportation and Fred Meyer to address congestion relief around the Bakerview and I-5 intersection. We came up with creative, implementable solutions instead of multimillion dollar proposals that wouldn't be funded for decades. Bringing diverse views together to accomplish goals is a skill I regularly employ on your behalf.
Over 10,000 recorded votes have shown me to be fiercely independent. I look at each issue as it comes up and make decisions based upon the facts. It is a privilege to serve you in our state Legislature. I hope to have your vote to serve you again.
Jeff Morris is the incumbent and the Democratic candidate for District Washington State House of Representatives, District 40, Position 2. Each of the 49 state legislative districts is represented by one senator and two representatives who vote on state laws and budgets. State representatives are elected every two years and are paid $42,106 annually. The state representatives from the 40th District represent about 137,000 people in the southern half of Bellingham, all of San Juan County and part of Skagit County. One candidate will win election in the Nov. 6 general election.