Freshman lawmaker Van De Wege to balance two jobs

SEQUIM – State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege will spend the first months of the next two years in Olympia representing his district.

In addition to a freshman citizen legislator, Van De Wege is also a firefighter/paramedic for Clallam County Fire District No. 3, based in Sequim and covering much of eastern Clallam County.

He plans to continue working both jobs simultaneously.

Chief Steve Vogel said Friday that Van De Wege, D-Sequim, assured him that his new job would not interfere with his old job.

He will return from Olympia to work on weekends and will arrange for others to work for him when he cannot cover shifts with vacation and other paid time off, said Vogel.

Vogel said there would be minimal impact on the district.

“It’s going to be a major impact on him,” Vogel said.

“He’ll be going to Olympia to work and using his vacation time to do it. Does that sound fun?”

Van De Wege has been with the district for nearly six years

“He said he has it all figured out and wouldn’t cause a burden to the fire district and I believe him,” Vogel said, noting that Van De Wege has accrued holiday, vacation and comp time.

In even-numbered years the Legislature meets for 60-day sessions.

In odd-numbered years, such as the session that will begin Monday, lawmakers have 105 days to craft a two-year budget.

Democrats hold strong majorities in both chambers of the Legislatures and control the governor’s office.

A long, extended session is not expected.

However, in the future, it is possible.

Vogel said he brought the likelihood of extra sessions up to Van De Wege.

“He said he has it covered,” Vogel said.

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