CCL meetings with Sen. Murray’s Leg. Director Shawn Bills
Members of Citizens’ Climate Lobby from 6 chapters around Puget Sound met with Shawn Bills, State Director for Sen Patty Murray on April 5th 2016 in her office in Seattle. Cheryl Hunter – Bainbridge Is, Chuck Jensen – Tacoma, Joan Whittaker – Kirkland, David Kendall – Seattle, Anne Engstrom – Seattle, Chris Rathe – Issaquah, David Chapin – Bellevue and Louise Stonington – Seattle.
We discussed the CCL proposal, the REMI Report, and the Household Impact Study. Sen Murray is fully aware of the implications of climate change and has found ways to educate her associates on the issue.
As chair of the Budget Committee in 2014, she called a Budget Committee Hearing on the Financial and Budgetary Costs of Climate Change. This was extremely significant in drawing attention to the wide impacts – including health care costs, infrastructure destruction and burdens on the military.
After the elections, leadership of Senate committees went to Republicans. Sen Murray became the ranking member of the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, and therefore unable to call hearings except with bipartisan agreement.
She spearheaded a request for the Government Accountability Office, to issue a report on the need for research on the link between health and climate and increased public education on the issue. The report, published November 2015, is Report 16-122 “Climate Change, Dept of Health & Human Services could take further steps to enhance understanding of public health risk,”
Subsequently, related reports have produced data that links health issues to climate, in general and in specific instances such as asthma rates and the spreading Zika virus.
Shawn Bills talked about the importance of research and development by the Department of Energy and private industry to increase the use of green energy and energy efficiency. He also emphasized that citizens can play a role in helping communities to hear about the health climate connection.
4-5-16 CCL Meeting with Sen. Murray’s Legislative Director Shawn Bills