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

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Freeland massage therapist charged with sex crimes

The judge set bail at $7,500 for the health care provider, who was accused of sexually assaulting two clients last year.

Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
As wildfires creep west of Cascades, county plans for next Bolt Creek

Wildfires are an increasing concern in Snohomish County. A new project aims to develop a better plan.

Everett High seniors, from left, Avery Thompson, Lanie Thompson, Melissa Rosales-Alfaro and Saron Mulugeta sit together in front of their school on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Everett, Washington. The group have called to question their district’s policy that does not permit graduates to decorate their mortarboards or graduation clothing. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
After student campaign, Everett schools allows custom graduation caps

“It’s a really good first step,” the Everett High School ASB president said. But the students still want relaxed rules for future classes.

People hang up hearts with messages about saving the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Future of historic Clark Park gazebo now in hands of City Council

On June 5, the Everett council is set to decide whether to fund removal of the gazebo. It could be stored elsewhere.

People fill the board room for public comment during a Marysville School Board meeting on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Struggling Marysville schools dropped from insurance pool

In an unprecedented move, the board of the Washington Schools Risk Management Pool voted to drop the district by August.

A cyclist heads along Federal Avenue past a bike route sign near 46th Street SE on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Bike sign project marks lanes, distances for Everett cyclists

Around the city, crews are putting up over 200 signs, geared toward helping bicyclists find their way around.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.