A new House Republican Leader and Sine Die

2018 legislative session • March 9, 2018 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend: 

The 60-day legislative session ended last night. State lawmakers are packing up, leaving Olympia and looking forward to re-connecting with their families.

Mixed results

This year produced mixed results. Unlike the last five years, there was less bipartisanship with both chambers being controlled by Democrats. This resulted in more controversial bills passing, and House Republicans largely being excluded from budget negotiations. 

However, there were still some bipartisan successes. Below you will find some of the "hits" and "misses" of the session, in addition to details about the supplemental operating budget.    

It's time to go home 

On Tuesday, I announced that I would not be running for re-election in November, and stepped down from my leadership position. My decision came down to one simple thing: family. They want me home. And I want to go home.

It has been an honor to serve the people of the 39th District, and a privilege to lead the House Republican Caucus. The best part of this job has always been the relationships. I will cherish all of the friendships, memories, accomplishments and challenges because they made me a better person. I'm grateful for it.  

House Republican retirements

I'm not the only one turning to a new chapter in life. Reps. Larry HalerTerry Nealey, Liz Pike, Jay Rodne and Melanie Stambaugh also announced they would not run for re-election. I want to thank all of them for their service and friendship over the years. Each have served with honor and distinction, and will be missed.  

New House Republican Leader 

We held a reorganizational meeting yesterday to choose a new House Republican Leader. We elected Rep. J.T. Wilcox.

J.T. is the right person at the right time for this job. He's a natural leader, and I look forward to seeing where he takes the caucus. 

You can learn more about J.T. and the other changes to our Leadership team in this news release.

Thank you

This e-newsletter will resume in January 2019 with a new author and perhaps a new format. Thanks for being a dedicated reader. I appreciate your time and interest.

While the session has ended, please remember we are your full-time state lawmakers. We are here to listen, help and assist you. Please don't hesitate to contact us.  

God bless you and your family.

In your service,

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
(360) 786-7967

Rep. Dave Hayes

Leadership Podcast: Rep. Dave Hayes

In our final Leadership Podcast of the year, House Republican Whip Dave Hayes talks about his primary responsibilities, his law enforcement and military backgrounds, public safety issues, addressing the opioid crisis, and helping veterans. Listen here.

Supplemental operating budget details

  • Increases state spending by $1.2 billion in the 2017-19 budget cycle and $600 million for 2019-21 ($1.8 billion over four years).
  • Assumes an increase of $700 million NGF-P revenue by redirecting $935 million of the new state property tax revenue enacted as part of House Bill 2242 (2017) to the Education Legacy Trust Account. This $700 million was anticipated to be transferred to the Budget Stabilization Account as extraordinary revenue (75 percent of $935 million), which is an unprecedented and controversial maneuver.
  • Funds new K-12 salary allocations in the 2018-19 school year.
  • Provides a one-time property tax reduction of $.30/$1,000 of assessed value in 2019 only (no property tax relief in 2018, unfortunately). 
  • Leaves a four-year ending balance of $103 million. 


Bad legislation that was stopped

  • No major tax increases. The Senate Democrats’ carbon/energy tax and the House Democrats’ capital gains income tax were defeated.
  • A low carbon fuel standard bill that would have increased the cost of gas and broken an agreement was defeated.  

Good legislation that passed

  • A permanent Hirst solution. However, there is still work to be done in certain parts of our state.
  • Capital budget. This provides important funding for projects across our state.
  • Transportation budget. We kept promises made to taxpayers to get projects done and addressed emergencies.
  • New investments to improve our mental health facilities and system (operating and capital budgets). 
  • Steps to address our state's opioid crisis.


Good legislation that didn't pass

  • No property tax relief in 2018. Republicans proposed bills to provide meaningful property tax relief this year. Unfortunately, Democrats ignored them. 
  • No Sound Transit car-tab relief for people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
  • No bill to provide B&O tax parity for manufacturing (passed by Legislature, vetoed by governor last year). 
  • No bill to clarify the prohibition of a local income tax.
  • No bill to allow students to use a mobile app to provide a secure and anonymous method of reporting activities that could be dangerous (Students Protecting Students Program).
  • No funding for school districts to hire resource officers. 
  • More could have been done to help bring broadband to underserved areas of our state (House Bills 2749 and 2312).

Bad legislation that passed

  • Senate Bills 6362 and 6241 will make substantial policy changes to last year’s bipartisan McCleary bill.
  • Senate Bill 6199 will force in-home caregivers to join a union and pay dues, even if they had previously opted out. Many of these caregivers are taking care of family members and have said they cannot afford the dues.
  • Senate Bill 6219 will require health plans that cover maternity care or services to cover abortions.

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