After being appointed to fill the vacant 28th District state House of Representatives seat in July, Rep. Dick Muri received his final committee assignments for the 2014 legislative session scheduled to begin January 14.
He will serve on the House Education, Higher Education, Transportation and Judiciary committees. He was also appointed to serve on the Joint Committee for Veterans’ and Military Affairs, a select, bipartisan committee that meets when the Legislature is out of session to consider and prepare legislation to aid military men and women and their families.
“I could not be more pleased with the work load I’ve been given in the House. All of my committees are central to the Twenty-Eighth District. While we have a diverse community, we all care about education, getting people to work and taking care of those who currently serve, or have served, our country so bravely and their families,” said Muri, R-Steilacoom and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force.
Muri, a former member of the Steilacoom Historical School Board, pointed out that the 28th District is home to excellent schools and institutions of higher learning, but that constituents always believe more can be done.
“I am very proud of the schools in our part of the state, but we are always aiming to raise the bar,” Muri said. “Having a seat at the table to share constituent ideas on how to improve student outcomes and support our teachers will be critical as we continue to debate education funding and reforms.”
The 28th District is also home to Cloverpark Technical College, Tacoma Community College and Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. It is also a bedroom community for the University of Washington Tacoma branch campus as well as several other public and private colleges in the South Sound region.
“My hope is K-12 education and higher education stakeholders will contact me with ideas and solutions to the unique issues we face in providing the best preparation for students of all ages and in the many valuable job fields,” Muri said.
Transportation continues to be a major concern to 28th District residents, Muri added.
“It is well known that the Joint Base Lewis-McChord interchanges on Interstate Five are one of the many congestion hubs that must be addressed,” Muri said. “It’s difficult for our military to get on and off post, for businesses to move goods and freight and for residents to get to work and home. The solutions to this issue may be many, but I think we can all agree on the need for more lane capacity. I believe that if we are going to revisit new transportation projects, addressing major choke points like this must be part of the package. At the end of the day, we don’t just need new road infrastructure – we need to prioritize projects that improve traffic flow.”
According to the 2010 United States Census, Pierce County is home to 88,000 veterans and their families. The 28th District has countless veterans and active-duty members of military stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).
“The Joint Committee for Veterans’ and Military Affairs is critical to our part of the state,” Muri said. “The purpose of this committee is to listen to ideas that will improve the lives of our service members, past and present, and their families, then take the ideas to the Legislature for approval. If constituents have solutions they would like to share with me, I hope they will contact me. Our brave men and women deserve our support and I will always listen to ways we can make their lives better.”
The House Education Committee considers policies that impact the state’s K-12 education system as well as online and homeschool environments.
The House Higher Education Committee considers policies that impact the state’s public institutions of higher learning, including four-year colleges, vocational and technical schools and community colleges.
The House Transportation Committee considers policies that impact the statewide transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges and design and building of projects. The committee also oversees the state transportation budget, which is separate from the state operating budget. It considers road-related taxes, including the state gas tax, weight fees and other costs imposed on drivers statewide.
The House Judiciary Committee considers a wide variety of subjects relating to civil and criminal law, including issues involving commercial law, torts, probate, guardianships, civil commitment, firearms, eminent domain, landlord/tenant law, Consumer Protection Act remedies and processes, and courts and judicial administration; and family law issues such as marriage, marriage dissolution, child support and adoption.
The Joint Committee for Veterans’ and Military Affairs is a bipartisan committee formed for the purpose of studying and exploring veterans’ and military issues. The committee provides a venue for concepts and ideas to be introduced, vetted and perfected, and makes recommendations resulting from those concepts and ideas to the Legislature.
For more information about Rep. Muri, visit: www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/