Rep. Drew Hansen is running unopposed for re-election to Washington’s 23rd Legislative District, position 2. On July 10, Rep. Hanson spoke about his run for re-election, and important issues he is looking to tackle in the next legislative session.
“What I focus on in the Legislature is helping people figure out ways to get and keep decent jobs and support their families,” Hanson said. In practice, that means “a lot of attention to what kind of job and college opportunities we have available on the Kitsap Peninsula.
“In the past legislative sessions, I was behind legislative funding for a new electrical engineering degree at Olympic College in partnership with Washington State University, a new cybersecurity degree in partnership with Western Washington University … and a new early childhood education degree at Olympic College in partnership with Western [Washington University].”
Now, Hansen said, degree opportunities are more abundant here in Kitsap.
“We have a way for you to stay on the Kitsap Peninsula, go to college, get a degree and get a job to support your family,” Hansen said. “So that’s exciting, I’ll be focusing more on that in the future.”
In the past, Hansen has pushed to for a capital gains tax, and he will continue to support a tax on the gains from investments and securities.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that we would tax the sale of one asset, like a house — that a lot of people have — and not touch the sale of another asset — like shares of Microsoft and Amazon — that only a very few people have.”
In the last legislative session, Hansen voted in favor of a ban on firearm accessories known as “bump stocks.” Hansen said he would continue to push for gun legislation by working with law enforcement, Republicans and pro-gun groups like the NRA to come to a consensus on how to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.
“We did ban bump stocks this past session. I did a major bill a few years ago — House Bill 1501 — that cracked down on illegal gun purchases and notified law enforcement and domestic violence survivors when someone tried to buy a gun illegally.” Hansen said. “I am talking over the summer with my Republican counterpart on that bill, as well as with law enforcement and the NRA about how we strengthen that even more.”
Hansen said he would be examining Washington’s firearms background check system to determine how authorities can more aggressively pursue unlawful attempts to purchase firearms.
When asked what he hopes residents of the Washington’s 23rd District keep at the forefront of their minds in the days to come, Hansen pointed to what he saw as the chief concern among his constituency.
“The question on most people’s minds, just in general, is, ‘How are we going to support our families in an age where it seems increasingly difficult to do that?’” Hansen said. “Where that intersects with the legislative process is making sure college is affordable, making sure that we have ways to help people get into jobs that don’t take a full, four-year college degree – whether that’s apprenticeships or short-term certificate programs in health care, advanced manufacturing or elsewhere.”
“That’s what I’ll continue to focus on going forward,” he added.
—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.