By Jillian Henze, APR

Following each legislative session, the Washington Hospitality Association recognizes the legislators who committed their time, energy and courage to be leaders for the hospitality industry – and we’re excited to announce our 2020 Legislative Heroes.

“Our 2020 Legislative Heroes rose to the occasion for hospitality this session,” said Julia Gorton, director of state government affairs for the association. “These leaders championed important issues and assisted on bills that ultimately will improve the way hospitality can support its employees and local communities. We want to take a moment and celebrate each of them for their leadership this session.”

2020 Legislative Heroes

Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima: King serves an important role as ranking minority member on the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. He never fails to bring considerate solutions to complicated issues. He is a true champion of protecting the 608/609 workers’ compensation accounts and ensuring those funds are spent as intended. King was also the co-sponsor of the successful pull-tab bill in the Senate.

Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle: Pedersen was a strong leader on the association’s human trafficking prevention work this year. He showed thoughtfulness and courage supporting human trafficking victims while allowing hospitality businesses to use proven international training programs.

Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds: Serving as the chair of the House Commerce & Gaming Committee, Peterson was the perfect candidate to be the prime sponsor of the pull-tab bill in the House. As a restaurant owner himself, he is a wonderful hospitality ally and supporter. He was critical in helping the association secure $25 million in unemployment insurance relief following the coronavirus outbreak. Peterson is always a great partner and shares a practical approach when solving tough industry problems.

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn: Stokesbary showed continued support and dedication through the high-stakes discussions of the consumer data privacy legislation. He played an important role as the ranking minority member on the House Appropriations Committee and is always working hard to stop new taxes from impacting the business community.

2020 Honorable Mentions

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah: Mullet earns an honorable mention for carrying hospitality’s messages and solutions into his caucus this session. He has been a member of the association since 2010, and year after year we are grateful for all his service to our industry.

Rep. Amy Walen, D-Kirkland: Walen earns an honorable mention this session for her work on data privacy, and especially for her willingness to ask the tough questions. She also supported the industry’s opposition to the restrictive scheduling legislation.