Cleveland gets her first bill signed into law

By Lucas Wiseman
The Columbian/Murrow News Service

OLYMPIA — As the Legislature nears April 28, its constitutionally required final day of session, there are many issues that have yet to be resolved, such as budget fights or whether to pay for the Columbia River Crossing.

But for Democrat Annette Cleveland, a first-term Senator from Vancouver, there is one issue that does not warrant concern: the passage of her first bill.

Cleveland, the only Democrat representing Clark county in the Senate, had Gov. Jay Inslee sign her first piece of legislation into law on Thursday. It’s the first bill from any Clark County legislator to be signed by  the new governor.

That proposal, Senate Bill 5524, allows prescriptions written physician’s assistants in other states to be filled in Washington, particularly important for Clark County residents who work in Oregon, Cleveland said.

Cleveland said the bill isn’t a monumental piece of legislation, but “it’s very gratifying, being able to help counties like ours,” she said.

Cleveland describes her first year in the Senate as a “whirlwind of excitement,” and commented on how impressed she was by all her colleagues, from both parties.

Cleveland expected to begin her first year in the Senate in the majority, but with the defection of two Democrats to the GOP side, Cleveland found herself in the minority.

“Being in the minority didn’t change what I came here to do,” she said.

Inslee signed Cleveland’s bill into law on April 17, and it will become effective July 28, 2013.

First-term Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, has had two bills pass in both houses of the Legislature. They are expected to head to Inslee’s desk to be signed.

In her first Senate term, state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, has had one bill pass both houses. Rivers previously served in the House.

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