OLYMPIA - This past week, members of the State Senate Republican caucus elected Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside as deputy floor leader. This is the fifth time Honeyford has been elected to the caucus leadership team.
As deputy floor leader, Honeyford will assist the floor leader in his duties, assist in coordinating procedural votes with members and perform other general leadership responsibilities. He will also participate in leadership discussions and decisions and meet regularly with other members of the caucus leadership on key legislative issues.
"I am honored that my colleagues asked me to serve again as a member of leadership," Honeyford said. "The people of our state are entering a very challenging time. The state is facing a $5.1 billion budget shortfall, and there are tough decisions to be made. I look forward to working with my colleagues to address these issues and help the people of our state get back on their feet."
Honeyford was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1994 and 1996, and to the Senate in 1998, 2002 and 2006. He has served in past leadership positions of both whip and caucus chair. Over the years he has served his community not only as a legislator, but also as a police officer, city council member, teacher, coach, librarian and farmer.
In other leadership moves impacting local legislators, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside was last week re-elected the floor leader for Republicans in the State House of Representatives.
As floor leader, Newhouse is responsible for developing and implementing floor strategy during legislative debate. In addition, he is a member of the leadership team that sets legislative priorities and creates a plan to adopt policies supported by the caucus.
"I'm pleased to continue my role in our House Republican leadership team and honored by the confidence that has been entrusted to me by my colleagues," said Newhouse. "I look forward to working with Representative Richard DeBolt and the entire leadership team to lead the members of our caucus in finding solutions to the issues facing our state."
Newhouse is serving his fourth term in the House representing the 15th District. He is a lifetime resident of the Yakima Valley. Newhouse and his wife Carol have two children, Jensena and Devon.
The 2009 legislative session begins Jan. 12.