State of Washington
65th Legislature
2018 Regular Session
By Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections (originally sponsored by Senators Hunt, Carlyle, Miloscia, Darneille, Palumbo, Rossi, Keiser, Becker, Zeiger, Liias, Kuderer, Saldaña, Pedersen, Conway, Hobbs, Walsh, Billig, Cleveland, Nelson, Sheldon, McCoy, Hasegawa, Wellman, Ranker, and Pearson)
WHEREAS, Representative Helen Sommers honorably and distinguishably served the people of the 36th Legislative District for thirty-six years; and
WHEREAS, Representative Sommers chaired with distinction five different House committees: State Government, Revenue, Higher Education, Capital Budget, and Appropriations; and
WHEREAS, Many generations of Washington students owe a debt of gratitude to Representative Sommers for her unwavering belief in the benefits of a good education; and
WHEREAS, Although the intricacies of pension law confounded many public policy experts, her persistent dedication to the sometimes obscure principles of pension funding has ensured a stable, well-funded pension system for the taxpayers and public employees of the state; and
WHEREAS, Representative Sommers' service spanned seven governors, nine speakers, and countless legislators; and
WHEREAS, As a very young woman, Helen Sommers had the courage to leave her home in New Jersey to live and work in Venezuela; and
WHEREAS, Representative Gary Alexander, the former ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, said that, "I hope someday there will be a building named on this Capitol Campus for one of the great leaders in our budgetary operations in the state"; and
WHEREAS, Although as tough as the budget can be and as contentious as it can be, Appropriations Committee members always had a laugh. They got along due to the fact that Representative Sommers ran the meeting in a fashion where everyone was treated with respect; and
WHEREAS, Representative Sommers brought a University of Washington arborist to Olympia to identify and photograph the many beautiful and unique trees on the Capitol Campus and then had a booklet printed to provide a self-guided tour of twenty of the most interesting trees; and
WHEREAS, Over her many years in the Legislature, various members have used many different words when describing their relationship with Representative Sommers, including: Trepidation, intimidation, fear, love, but most often, respect; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature is authorized to approve names for certain state facilities based on recommendations from the State Capitol Committee and the Department of Enterprise Services, with the advice of the Capitol Campus Design Advisory Committee and subject to specific criteria; and
WHEREAS, The Washington State Legislature wishes to honor Representative Sommers with a lasting memorial to her dedication and service in the Legislature;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the State of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That the new state office building commonly referred to as the "1063 Building" be named the Helen Sommers Building; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Department of Enterprise Services place the name "Helen Sommers Building" on the new office building; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be forwarded to Joan Couch, sister of Helen Sommers; the Honorable Jay Inslee, Governor of the State of Washington; and Chris Liu, Director of the Department of Enterprise Services.
--- END ---