Sen. Sheldon appointed to advisory panels on Capitol Campus design, energy and water policy

OLYMPIA – Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, has been appointed to legislative panels dealing with state energy policy, river management, development of the Capitol Campus and a possible state memorial to those who died in the global war on terror.

“A legislator’s duties don’t end when the session is over,” Sheldon said. “These advisory and oversight panels often generate ideas we wind up debating on the Senate floor.”

Among Sheldon’s appointments is a seat on the Capitol Campus Design Committee, which makes recommendations regarding new structures, landscaping and programs in the area immediately surrounding the Capitol. Last year Sheldon obtained funding for a scrubbing of the Capitol dome, and he says an interest in the appearance of the Capitol Campus comes naturally to those who have served for many years. Sheldon is the longest-serving current member of the Legislature, having won his first election to the House in 1990.

“The longer you serve, the more you appreciate the Capitol building and campus,” he said. “New members appreciate the majesty of the architecture and the setting, but quickly move on to other issues. The more senior members often take a great interest in the legacy we are leaving to the people of Washington. We recognize that protecting the design and beauty of the Capitol campus is of great importance to the entire state, not just those who live in the immediate vicinity.”

The committee’s recommendations for design standards will be of importance as the Legislature considers proposals for several new buildings close to the original Capitol grouping.

Other appointments include:

Legislative Workgroup Honoring Residents Who Died in the Global War on Terror – This work group will study and make recommendations regarding a possible new memorial on the Capitol Campus. The memorial would honor members of the armed forces who have given their lives in Afghanistan, the Middle East and elsewhere, and identify a location where a suitable memorial can be erected.

Energy Strategy Advisory Committee – This year’s legislation setting an ambitious target for renewable energy usage statewide also created an advisory committee on energy strategy, to monitor the implementation of the new law and make recommendations. Sheldon has a long background on energy issues, as a former PUD commissioner and a current board member for Energy Northwest. Sheldon also is a member of the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee.

Legislative Council on River Governance – This panel offers a multistate forum for issues regarding river systems that cross state boundaries. The panel, convened by the Council of State Governments, is comprised of state legislators from the Columbia River basin states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

In addition to these appointments, Sheldon also has served as a member of the Joint Select Task Force on Nuclear Energy since 2014.