Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Chehalis Bill Signing
May 8, 2003

Good afternoon. It’s great to be here.

Today we’re signing into law several measures that will be good for the Port of Chehalis, good for other rural areas, and good for our state.

I’d like to review the five bills I will sign in a few minutes.

SB 5786, from prime sponsor Sen. Tim Sheldon, will enhance rural development efforts by broadening the ways in which designated industrial areas can be used. This will give rural areas more flexibility and choices in determining how best to develop and grow local industry—and create needed jobs.

2SHB 1973, from prime sponsor Rep. Velma Veloria, will promote tourism in our state. This bill directs the Office of Community, Trade, and Economic Development to:

· Promote Washington as a nature-based tourism destination
· Plan a nature-based tourism strategy
· Assist local communities with their own wildlife tourism plans

The bill also directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage wildlife programs in ways that promote wildlife tourism—without impairing wildlife resources.

We live in one of the most beautiful places in America. A carefully developed tourism industry and strategy will provide jobs and revenue for local governments without compromising our environment.

SHB 2118, from prime sponsor Rep. Newhouse, allows Washington-brewed beer from micro- and medium-sized breweries to be sold at farmer’s markets. Licensed beer distributors are still prohibited from selling at farmer’s markets. The bill allows 38 micro-breweries to sell their beer at Washington’s 70 farmers’ markets. This helps both the businesses involved and the markets.

SB 5363, from prime sponsor Sen. Pat Hale at my request, will provide permanent funding for the Community Economic Revitalization Board—CERB. This program provides funding for economic development infrastructure, primarily in rural counties. The Port of Chehalis has benefited from the CERB program already, with a loan to build up the Port infrastructure. This helped bring Imperial Group Inc. to this area—and created 30 new jobs.

CERB is a strong source of good jobs for rural families, creating thousands of jobs in the last few years. But for years it has lacked a permanent, stable funding source. This bill deposits interest from the Public Works Trust Fund to the CERB account instead of the General Fund-State. This will provide permanent funding to keep this valuable program going—and to keep developing rural economies.

Finally, SB 5662, also prime sponsored by Sen. Hale, clarifies the legislative membership on the Community Economic Revitalization Board.

I am very pleased to be signing these bills today. One of my top priorities this session has been creating more jobs. We need to create jobs by continuing to take steps that will nurture our state’s economy and create more jobs. And we will.

I will now sign these five bills into law.

Access Washington