Committee assembly days

2021 interim • November 1, 2021

Washington State House Republicans

Dear Friend:

State lawmakers will come together, virtually, in two weeks for committee assembly days. This will include committee hearings, caucus discussions, and other meetings. The House will meet November 18-19, and the Senate that Monday and Tuesday. House Republicans will also connect early in the week to discuss policy, committee work, the 2022 legislative session, and other issues. 

TVW's website is a great resource for you to stay apprised of what is happening in the House and Senate. The Legislature's website also has helpful information. 

House COVID-19 Operations Plans

In late September, the Washington State House of Representatives updated its COVID-19 2021 Interim Operations Plan. This change was approved by the Democrats on the House Executive Rules Committee. The Republicans on this committee, including myself, did not support this new proposal. 

Under this updated plan, beginning on October 18, access to House facilities was limited to members and staff who have provided documentation of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. When a few state representatives were denied entry into their offices in the John L. O'Brien Building, it resulted in some media stories.  

Like last year, House Republicans will again fight for more opportunities for the public to be involved in the upcoming legislative session. The House should provide more access for the public to be a part of the legislative process, in person, beginning in January. And no state representative should be denied access to his or her office on the Capitol Campus. 

A House plan for the legislative session is being considered now and House Republicans have a team dedicated to offering real solutions. We expect more information in the next week or so.    

House Republicans call for repeal of new long-term care insurance program and payroll tax

Our offices continue to receive inquiries on the Democrats' new long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. With the November 1 (today) deadline for Washington workers to purchase a qualifying long-term care insurance plan, which would allow them to apply for an exemption, we are seeing more media coverage on the issue and editorials critical of the law.

This program was established through House Bill 1087 in 2019, a measure that passed with no House Republican support. Rep. Drew Stokesbary shared some of our concerns at the time in this floor speech. But even more flaws with the program have been revealed since then. Democrats are coming to the realization this may be a big problem that will need to be addressed in the next legislative session, if not before. 

Today, House Republicans called for the repeal of this new long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. You can read our news release here. Reps. Joe Schmick and Peter Abbarno also outlined our arguments for repeal in this recent op-ed in The Seattle Times.  

More information can be found at this web page, which was recently updated by my staff. 

Changes in the Secretary of State's Office  

Last week, Kim Wyman announced she was stepping down as Secretary of State on November 19 to accept an appointment as Senior Election Security Lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. There is a range of emotions with this announcement and a sense of uncertainty moving forward. The office will be filled by Gov. Jay Inslee and it is unclear what he will do.

This is an opportunity for the governor to start healing our state by recognizing that those with a perspective different from his have the right to be represented in a statewide office. I am limited in what I can say in this forum. However, I have made it clear where I stand on what he should do. 

In closing, I want to wish Kim the best of luck in the future. 


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912