New 1st District legislators say committee roles aid home areas

Shelly Kloba (right) and Guy Palumbo

Shelly Kloba (right) and Guy Palumbo

By Evan Smith

Two new 1st District state legislators say that their committee assignments give them ways to help the district.

Democratic 1st District Rep. Shelley Kloba has become vice chairwoman of the Commerce and Gaming Committee and a member of both the Transportation Committee and the committee on technology and economic development.

In the Republican-controlled senate, Democratic 1st District State Sen. Guy Palumbo has become ranking minority member of the Senate Higher Education Committee and a member of the Local Government Committee.

Palumbo said Sunday that briefings during his first two weeks on the Higher Education Committee have confirmed his belief that the state needs the graduates that colleges in the 1st District can produce.

The 1st Legislative District includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell.

He said that briefings to the Higher Education Committee had made clear that the state has a serious workforce pipeline challenge.

“Half the aerospace workforce will be aging out in the next 10 years and we don’t have workers ready to backfill those positions,” he said. “Our major technology employers like Amazon and Microsoft can’t find enough computer engineers to hire. We also have a huge need for health-care workers as the silver tsunami approaches.”

Palumbo said that he wants to help get facilities for UW-Bothell and Cascadia Community College in the 1st District to turn out more qualified workers.

Palumbo said that the local colleges are among those around the state that have had to wait for facilities.

“Institutions have to wait 14 years on average to get a new building,” he said.

He called fixing the bottleneck in higher-education infrastructure for high-demand fields “low-hanging fruit.”

“I will be looking into innovative ways to address this problem through the use of public-private partnerships.”

He said two weeks ago that on the Local Government Committee, he wants to work on population-growth policy.

Palumbo, who has been a Fire District 7 commissioner and a Snohomish County planning commissioner, called the Local Government Committee “a perfect fit based on my background and experience.

“There will probably be several GMA (Growth Management Act) reform bills that will be considered this year. I look forward to any opportunity to make improvements in the way we deal with population growth, which is at the core of many of the issues facing the 1st District.”

Kloba said before the legislative session started that she believes that the work of the Technology and Economic Development Committee and the work of the Transportation Committee cover interrelated areas that have a big impact on the 1st District.

“We have a vibrant and growing tech sector that presents excellent ways to improve economic opportunities for our region, and I look forward to working with area businesses and schools to promote development,” she said. “Our transportation systems are the critical infrastructure that allows our residents to get where they need to go, and our businesses to get employees to work and goods to the marketplace. I look forward to improving transportation options for all.”

Kloba, a former Kirkland city councilwoman, said that, unlike the other two committees, Commerce and Gaming is not a committee she had specifically requested.

“However, I am anxious to apply my local government experience as well as my perspective as a health care provider on the issues that will come before us related to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and gambling,” she said. “My top priorities will always be the things that foster strong kids, strong families, and strong communities, and I know that these committees will give me the opportunity to work on those issues.”

Evan Smith can be reached at

Talk to us

More in Local News

WSDOT workers open up the Smokey Point Rest Area on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free coffee will be back soon at Smokey Point rest areas

Everett’s Silver Lake rest area for southbound I-5 drivers remains closed while WSDOT works on the facility.

The Everett Music Initiative team, (from left) Ryan Crowther, Nate Feaster and Michael Hannon. (Everett Music Initiative)
As Everett Music Initiative turns 10, downtown no longer a ‘ghost town’

The group will celebrate its birthday Thursday night with a party to kick off the eighth Fisherman’s Village Music Fest.

Pro skateboarding competition coming to Everett in August

Street League Skateboarding’s championship tour will be at Angel of the Winds arena for two days.

Drivers heading north on Interstate 5 will take a detour from Highway 104 to 220th Street SW and back to I-5 this weekend during nightly lane closures for Sound Transit light rail work. (Sound Transit)
Light rail work closing I-5 North lanes nightly this weekend

Crews need to close northbound lanes between 220th Street SW and Highway 104. Drivers have two detour options.

A car makes its way through a winding unpaved section of the Mountain Loop Highway 15 miles outside of Darrington.
14-mile scenic stretch of Mountain Loop Highway opens early

The highway between Granite Falls and Darrington reopened to traffic on Friday due to good weather.

A Port Angeles police officer cordons off an empty lot in Sequim on Thursday as law enforcement officials investigate an incident in the area. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Man arrested in Sequim, connected to homicide, has Snohomish County ties

A dead woman was found in Bret Allen Kenney’s home, police say. He previously attacked Snohomish County Jail guards.

Top row (L-R): Rep. Suzan Del Bene, Sen. Keith Wagoner, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Rep. Rick Larsen. Center (L-R): Tamborine Borrelli, Bob Hagglund. Bottom (L-R): Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Rep. Kim Schrier, Mark Miloscia, Sen. Patty Murray.
As filing ends, campaigning shifts into a higher gear

The ballot will feature intraparty battles, election deniers and 16 challengers to a longtime U.S. senator.

Wade Brickman works through a call with trainer Lars Coleman Friday afternoon at SNO911 in Everett, Washington on May 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Difference between life and death’: New 911 tech saves vital seconds

Snohomish County is the first in the nation to get the new technology, which reduces delays on emergency calls.

Cars drive through the intersection of Highway 9 and South Lake Stevens Road on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 9 to close this weekend in south Lake Stevens

Detours take drivers around the closure between 20th Street SE and 32nd Street SE from Friday night to Monday morning.

Most Read