As of Friday, January 13, 2017
OLYMPIA A Prosser businessman is excited about his first session in the state legislature.
Bill Jenkin, a Republican, will represent the 16th District when lawmakers convene Monday for the opening day of a 105-day session. He was elected to the post during the Nov. 8 general election.
“I’m really looking forward to representing our district,” he said. “I’ll do the best job I can.”
Jenkin is getting settled in temporary housing, an apartment above a garage in Lacey.
“You need time for quiet, time to think,” he said of setting up a few miles outside of the hubbub in Olympia.
This week he wrapped up pre-session events with other first-time legislators.
“We had a mock session on Wednesday,” Jenkin said. “Thursday we met with Supreme Court justices and leadership in the House and Senate.”
When the gavel sounds Monday, Jenkin hopes to use his experience as a businessman and former Prosser School Board president.
Education funding will be “... on the front burner,” he said. “With my experience on the school board, I’ve stayed pretty much abreast of the issues.”
Paying for basic education in the wake of the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision won’t be easy.
“I’ve got an open mind on how to resolve things,” Jenkin said. “I want to resolve this issue without raising taxes if possible.”
His assignments include the Business and Finance Committee.
“I own a business and I’m aware of the restrictions from taxes,” Jenkin said.
He owns a winery and is an Edward Jones financial advisor.
His other assignments are the Commerce and Gaming, as well as the Community Development and Indian Affairs committees.
“To me, it’s not about how many bills I can author, it’s about listening and learning,” Jenkin said. “I want to develop a reputation as being fair and consistent, someone who wants to get to know the issues.”