OLYMPIA -- The first bill to pass the House of Representatives will create 38,000 construction jobs in every corner of Washington state, says the bill's author, Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish).
"There are 40,000 construction workers standing in the unemployment line in Washington state," Dunshee said after the House voted 57-41 to pass the Jobs Act of 2010. "This bill is about putting those good people back to work. It's about opportunity, hope and innovation, and the jobs we'll create will make our public schools safer, more energy efficient and healthier for our kids."
Dunshee said he studied what President Franklin D. Roosevelt did to lift America out of the Great Depression and what Republican Gov. Dan Evans did during the tough recession in the early 1970s.
"FDR and Dan Evans chose hope and courage over fear and despair," Dunshee said. "Evans knew that the polls were bad for the jobs package he sent to the voters. But he wasn't afraid, and voters approved five of the six measures Evans put on the ballot. FDR put America back to work. Evans put Washington state back to work -- and that's what this bill is about."
Former secretary of state Ralph Munro, a Republican who worked for Gov. Evans during the 1970s, testified in front of the Capital Budget Committee in support of the idea. Munro said that before the hearing, he went to the state archives and re-read letter after letter that citizens wrote the governor, thanking him for putting them back to work.
"Washington state is home to the best workers in the world," Dunshee said. "This bill will get people out of the unemployment line and let them put on their hard hats and pick up their hammers, to do what they are meant to do, what they love to do, and they'll build a better Washington for us. Taxpayers will save $190 million a year in lower energy costs and they'll build us a better Washington, with safer, healthier schools and universities."
The bill now goes to the Senate, and Dunshee said that a short session means citizens who support the Jobs Act need to contact their senators right away.
"We're only here for 60 days this year, and it's easy to kill a bill," Dunshee said. "If you care about this issue and want to create these 38,000 jobs to fix our public schools, talk to your lawmakers. Send them an e-mail or call the toll-free hotline at 800-562-6000."
For interviews: Rep. Hans Dunshee 360-786-7804 firstname.lastname@example.org