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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

What a whirlwind legislative session it's been! It's hard to believe we have less than two weeks left before session is scheduled to conclude. While there was initially a steep learning curve when I got to Olympia, I believe the work I've done the past 15 years in and around Federal Way and the South Puget Sound region prepared me for the task. I understand the complexities of many of the issues discussed in the Legislature, and am working hard to find answers to those that are new to me. I look forward to carrying on the good work we've started in these final two weeks.

Rep. Teri Hickel, R-Federal Way, on the House floor. Feb. 17, 2016.

The latest on my SNAP bill
In a unanimous vote last week, the House passed my bill to modify the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides nutritional support benefits to low-income individuals and families in Washington state. Under House Bill 2877, the date range for SNAP benefits to be distributed would be expanded from 10 days to 20 days — a change that would better serve SNAP recipients.
By expanding the date range SNAP benefits are distributed, recipients would have access to a wider range of food products – specifically fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products. This would also help eliminate the long grocery lines the current model of distribution has created. The program is vitally important to thousands of families in our communities, so I want to make sure it is working as well as it possibly can for them.
The bill was approved unanimously in the Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee, and is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Teri Hickel, R-Federal Way, is congratulated by fellow legislators after her first bill was passed by the House. Feb. 17, 2016.Being congratulated by fellow legislators after my first bill was unanimously approved by the House. Feb. 17, 2016.

Video update
In my latest video update, I further discuss my SNAP bill. I also talk about my decision-making process when it comes to voting for or against bills, and the latest on the supplemental transportation budget. Click on the image below to watch!

Rep. Teri Hickel's Legislative Video Update: Feb. 24, 2016

In-district news
I am proud of Federal Way, Auburn and Fife for passing their levies earlier this month. The ultimate goal for all of us at the state and local level is to fix basic education, but until we do, it's important these levies continue to pass. Our communities have expressed unwavering support for our kids, and we're fortunate to have such great leadership, especially from Federal Way School Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell.
In other news, I had a constituent come to me and share about how his property along the White River is in constant danger of flooding. When his house was originally built, the river was occasionally dredged by the Department of Ecology. However, Ecology has stopped dredging due to ecology concerns. To compound the problem, the river has shifted due to man-made developments. All of this has led to a rising White River, which has flooded his property. I have been working with the county to come up with a legislative fix to help our neighbors.
Upcoming town halls
I and fellow 30th District lawmakers Rep. Linda Kochmar and Sen. Mark Miloscia will be hosting a series of town halls next month to meet with constituents and answer questions about the session.
March 15: Milton City Hall from 6-7 p.m.
March 15: Algona City Hall from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
March 17: Federal Way City Hall from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
We hope to see you there!

30th District Reps. Teri Hickel and Linda Kochmar answer questions from constituents. Feb. 8, 2016.

Contacting me
I encourage you to continue contacting me with your thoughts about how we can work together to address the challenges facing our district and state. My email address is teri.hickel@leg.wa.gov, and my phone number is (360) 786-7830.

It is an honor to serve as your state representative.

Sincerely,


Teri Hickel

State Representative Teri Hickel
30th Legislative District
122D Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
teri.hickel@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7830 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000