Rivers tapped for high-level committee on economic development

Sen. Ann Rivers is the newest member of the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations. She was appointed recently by Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who chairs the bipartisan committee comprising six senators and six representatives.

“I wanted to serve on this committee because it puts special emphasis on international trade, tourism, investment and industrial development – the areas where I want to be a strong voice for southwest Washington,” said Rivers, R-La Center.

“I also don’t want our communities to miss out on important business opportunities because the regulatory side of state government oversteps. I’m hopeful this appointment will put me in a position to make sure there is balance in the state’s broader economic-development approach.”

Rivers said the time commitments that go with being chair of the Senate Health Care Committee and serving on three other major committees (Early Learning and K-12 Education; Ways and Means; and Rules) have kept her from serving on the Senate’s economic-development committee.

“Participating on this committee affords me the opportunity to do some of that work,” she said.

Also, she is intrigued by the fact that her new committee, which meets quarterly, is dedicated to economic development and works at the legislative level.

“The committees in the Senate and House of Representatives that handle economic development also have other policy responsibilities, and being in different chambers they can come at the same issues from different angles,” said Rivers. “That’s fine within the Capitol, but when it comes to trade policy, our state should present a single, consistent face to the outside world, and I see that as being part of this joint committee’s territory.”

Rivers succeeds Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, who stepped down after serving four years on the committee. The other two Republican senators on the panel are based in Yakima and Kennewick.