OLYMPIA — When state Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, rejoins his fellow state legislators at the start of the upcoming legislative session early next month, he’ll have a full plate of issues and projects potentially affecting the 26th Legislative District.
Young starts his second full term representing the district, which includes parts of Kitsap and Pierce counties, encompassing Port Orchard, part of Bremerton and Gig Harbor.
The erstwhile business and technology consultant said he’ll resume efforts to boost his novel plan, the “Toll By Coffee Act,” to generate additional revenue for Tacoma Narrows Bridge users so that tolls won’t need to rise in the future.
His legislation, otherwise known as House Bill 2717, was passed by comfortable margins in the House and Senate last session, only to be section-vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Young’s persistence comes from his belief that transportation is a critical issue for the 26th District.
“Whether it’s with the ferry system or the (Tacoma Narrows) bridge and tolls, transportation is vitally important to our district,” Young said by phone.
“It’s been a big push of mine to stop the bridge tolls from increasing. There’s a lot of work to be done on transportation. I’m still going to move forward on building support to start bringing down those tolls.”
Young was a member of the House Transportation Committee last session, and he expects to remain so when the majority House Democratic caucus sorts through committee assignments for next session. He expects those assignments to be announced shortly.
In addition to being a player on state transportation issues, Young is on the House Technology and Economic Development Committee. It’s a comfortable fit for the technology-minded legislator. The committee deals with issues relating to technology and electronic communications, small business assistance and financing, development of industry clusters, international trade and technology-driven jobs.
“My skill set fits the committee and the needs of our district,” Young said.
“I’m probably the most qualified professional down there (in Olympia) with my global experience in technology. We have issues coming up that no legislature in the country has had to deal with. We’re the capital for cloud computing and all the dynamics involving economic development in that area.”
He is familiar with the intricacies of secured personal data and online access, either through smartphones or biometric identification assessment, Young said.
“Serving on that committee allows me to leverage my expertise on behalf of the district and the state,” he said.
Energy issues also fall within the realm of that committee. “I think it’s a critical need. Our state is at the forefront, given our proximity to the Pacific Rim and our ports,” he added.
Young also served as a House Rule Committee member last session.