Jeff Morris

Morris

After 23 years in the state Legislature, Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, will leave office on Jan. 6.

In a news release, Morris said he accepted a position at French technology company Schneider Electric, working on energy management, decarbonization and artificial intelligence for its North American division.

Morris has represented the the 40th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives since 1997, at times serving as co-majority leader, speaker pro-tem and floor leader.

His work made Washington the first state to require utilities to consider things like environmental and community costs when building some kinds of power plants, instead of only cost to the organization.

For instance, rather than encouraging individuals to switch to solar power and requiring expensive energy storage, he said his legislation supported community solar projects that are more cost-effective and better meet the area’s needs.

Morris thanked his constituents for choosing him to represent them in Olympia, and for allowing him to work on energy policy.

“They’ve let me work on a lot of boring stuff, because they know it’s important,” he said.

He said his new position will not afford him the time to continue serving in the House.

The 40th district consists of San Juan County, northwestern Skagit County — including Anacortes — and southwestern Whatcom County.

With Morris’ mid-term resignation, Democrats in the district will have to select three potential replacements.

Governing bodies representing the three counties will then nominate one of the choices.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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