Grateful for Haugen’s years of public service

In the long list of notable achievements listed in Thursday’s wonderful article featuring Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, (“30 years of service”) I couldn’t help but reflect on one bill that wasn’t on that list.

In 2002 when I was a state representative, I co-sponsored the primary seat belt bill, today known as “Click It or Ticket.” What is not well-known is that Sen. Haugen authored a Senate version of the same bill. Both passed and were sent on to Gov. Locke to be signed into law. However, the governor could only sign one bill into effect. In an act of incredible humility which I’ve never forgotten, Sen. Haugen pulled her bill to allow mine to go into effect.

It is an honor to have your name attached to a law and I’ve received much praise and recognition over the years for “Click It or Ticket.” It is a good piece of legislation that has helped reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities and injuries in Washington state. But, Sen. Haugen was more concerned with good public policy, not prestige. I’ve always greatly admired the seemingly small, but significant action she took that day in putting the public good before herself.

So when Sen. Haugen says in the Herald article, “For me, it’s always been about serving the people,” she means it. And her actions speak louder than her words.

Thank you, Sen. Haugen, for your many years of public service. You’ve set a standard to which all elected leaders should aspire.

Sheriff John Lovick

Snohomish County