Fain uses inaugural speech to plug for flood protections

Auburn Reporter

Sen. Joe Fain (R-47th District, Auburn) delivered his maiden speech in the Senate chamber on Wednesday, asking his colleagues to pass Senate Bill 5075, the first bill he introduced as a lawmaker.

Immediately after Fain’s speech, and following a longstanding Senate tradition, his colleagues one by one began ribbing and razzing the freshman senator about his youth. Fain is the youngest member of the Washington State Senate.

“In my initial speech, I talked about the importance of fighting mortgage fraud,” Fain said. “Though they gave me a hard time about it being my first floor speech, my bill passed 46-2 and will now be considered by the House of Representatives.”

The bill is a result of Fain’s work with King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, a proponent of Fain’s legislation to fight mortgage fraud and prosecute abusers.

In addition to the collegial roasting, tradition in the Senate dictates that each new member deliver a gift to the other senators that represents his or her district. Fain’s gifts included beef jerky products from the Oberto Sausage Company in Kent, chocolates from Gosanko Chocolate Art in Auburn and one free admission pass to Emerald Downs horse racing track in Auburn.

“Horse racing is a big economic driver in the 47th District,” Fain said, “and Oberto is an international company headquartered right in our backyard, providing jobs to hundreds. As for Gosanko chocolates … well, they’re my wife’s favorites.”

In a departure from tradition, Fain used his inaugural gift as an opportunity to direct the Senate's attention to the issue of flood protection in South King County. Presenting miniature sandbags to the members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Fain said "these are subtle reminder of how important it is that we preserve levee funding along the Green River." 

Earlier this session, Fain joined Sen. Karen Kaiser, D-Kent, in sponsoring Senate Bill 5638, which allows a stable funding stream for the King County Flood Control District that funds repairs to many of the levees that are protecting homes and businesses in the Green River Valley.