We received the following email from Senator Van De Wege today:
This is to let you know that the proposed LEOFF 1 and 2 merger will not be moving forward for the 2019 session. There will be no more stakeholder meetings. The meeting this Friday, March 29th, is cancelled. I would like to thank everyone for the willingness to come together and work on this issue.
While I have been involved in merger proposals and discussions in the past, I have never led the effort. I found all of the parties to be working in a respectful manner which I greatly appreciate. I particularly would like to thank two staff members who worked on this effort. Amanda Cecil and Steve Nelsen are both professional and knowledgeable and have put a lot of work into this legislation. We are all indebted to the work they do and what has been accomplished.
As of now, there are no plans to do any interim work on a merger proposal. This issue has already been studied to the point of exhaustion. I have already conveyed my desire with the stakeholder groups about coming together. I am concerned that merger could easily happen and no stakeholder groups will see any benefits and be stuck with a costly court battle. I do not see myself working directly on merger in the future and wish all of you the best of luck.
Kevin Van De Wege
State Senator 24th LD