Political Beat

Sen. Rivers’ new hire is a combat veteran

Last session, Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, proposed a measure she hoped would translate into more jobs for veterans.

The bill, giving veterans hiring preference when it came to school security jobs, failed to make it into law. But when the senator had an opening in her own office, she decided it was time to put her money “where my mouth is.”

“For me, to talk about veteran hiring practices and how we need to support returning veterans and not hire one seemed hypocritical,” Rivers said.

Rivers hired Jonathan Meier, 26, who served with the Washington Army National Guard to be her new legislative assistant. Meier worked for six years as an analyst in the guard and spent six months deployed in Iraq. He replaced Rivers’ longtime assistant, Liz Coleman, who is now working for the Majority Coalition Caucus.

Meier grew up in Walla Walla and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University.

Rivers said she envisions Meier will result in more proposed legislation aimed at helping veterans.

“It will be beneficial to me as I work to help (veterans),” Rivers said. “I’ll be able to figure out what is really good, and ask does this look good on paper but in practice not so much? I’m thrilled to have that perspective.”

 

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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