It's about time! We're officially in Phase 2.

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Sharon Brown

Dear Friends,

Last week was one of the most eventful of the 2021 session to date. Olympia saw several packed committee meetings as we quickly approached today's 5 PM deadline for bills to be advanced out of the Senate’s policy committees. Many of the bills that I have introduced not only received hearings, but have made it out of their policy committees and are now awaiting action in the budgeting Ways and Means Committee.

I will also continue to push for Senate Bill 5244, my measure encouraging the production of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and components through the Invest in Washington Act. This important legislation received a hearing back in January, but will take some extraordinary steps to move forward this year after the Democrat majority failed to act on the bill in committee.

Last week, we also saw some unprecedented action on the budget, as Senate Republicans (the minority caucus) rolled out a full, two-year budget proposal. As one of the writers of the budget, I helped make sure that we proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that we could meet Washingtonians' needs without raising taxes or cutting programs.  

The most important news of the week came on Valentine's Day, when our South Central region finally got the good news that we were moving into Phase 2 of the Governor's reopening plan. This achievement was hard-earned and came only after heartbreaking news that we wouldn't advance came on Thursday.  You can read more about this and other important issues below.

Remember, I represent you most effectively when I receive your personal input, so feel free to let me know if you have questions, thoughts or concerns about any issue pertaining to state government. You can email me anytime or call me in Olympia at (360) 786-7614.

Thank you, as always, for the opportunity to serve you in the state Senate.


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Sharon Brown
State Senator
8th District

This Week's Video Update:

Senate Republicans are first to roll out full 2-year budget plan

Proposal protects the most vulnerable Washingtonians without raising taxes!


Click on the image above to watch TVW coverage of Senate Republicans rolling out their budget proposal.

On Thursday Sen. Lynda Wilson and I, as the Senate Republican leads on the operating budget, put forth a two-year budget proposal that doesn’t cut services and doesn’t raise taxes.

As Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald pointed out: "This is not one page of wishful thinking. It’s a full-on spending plan that... boosts spending on schools, behavioral health and transportation, as well as assisting struggling families and businesses."

Highlights of the Senate Republican plan include:

  • More than $1 billion aimed at encouraging school districts to get children back into classrooms, of which $200 million will go toward contact tracing, testing and other safety measures;
  • $333 million in additional assistance for small employers;
  • More support for behavioral health than has been proposed by the governor;
  • $200 million to support efforts to expand broadband access;
  • Eliminating the business-and-occupation (B&O) tax on manufacturing;
  • Gradually shifting tax revenue from vehicle sales for use on transportation projects; and
  • Full funding for improving forest health to reduce catastrophic wildfires.

You can find additional details here.

Click here or on the image above to watch video of our budget roll out press conference.


Brown: Inslee was wrong to keep Tri-Cities in Phase 1

Jason Rantz Show

Click on the image above to listen now.

KIRO FM's Jason Rantz: "On Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the state is going to have five additional regions moving from phase number one to phase number two of reopening plan. It’s not necessarily based on any concrete science or data but seems like it was done on a whim. Now, certainly, we're glad that these regions are reopening, but not all regions are reopening. In fact, it is pretty heartbreaking for the Tri-Cities. So says my next guest state Senator Sharon Brown, Republican from Kennewick."

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Click here to read my press release on Governor Inslee's announcement.

Reopening Update:

Tri-Cities moves to Phase 2 of Inslee's reopening plan

Open for business

Great News!  Yesterday, Governor Inslee and the Department of Health finally made the decision to move the South Central Region, which includes the Tri-Cities, to Phase 2 of their chaotic and arbitrary reopening plan.

The victory came after two days of intense work by me and my fellow local lawmakers to turn up the heat in the media on the Governor for his initial exclusion of our region. 

In a letter sent to lawmakers on Sunday, the deputy secretary of DOH wrote:

"After the region did not move to Phase 2 last week, it was brought to the attention of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) that a hospital in the region appeared to be incorrectly reporting its hospital admission data. ...Utilizing the facility’s updated information, the region’s hospital admission metric was re-calculated and DOH concluded the region did meet the required metric criteria and will now advance to Phase 2 effective February 14, 2021."

While this is great news for our district, it is also an example of how flawed the governor's system really is. If a reporting error from a single facility can prevent an entire region from reopening, something is wrong. First and foremost, these should be local decisions. Secondly, why did no one catch this error prior to the governor's Thursday announcement? And what exactly is the plan going forward? There's no current Phase 3; really, there's no real plan at all.

The governor's random, chaotic and ever-changing plans are a disaster. They are doing untold long-term damage to our communities and families. His executive overreach and one-man show have done enough damage to the state and they must come to an end.

Legislative Update:

Bill to create innovative industry-siting program advances

Last year, our bill to establish an innovative statewide industrial-siting coordination program cleared both chambers of the Legislature unanimously, only to be vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee, citing budget concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee voted unanimously to advance this year’s version of the bill.

Senate Bill 5345 would establish a statewide industrial waste coordination program based on the highly successful model of Denmark’s Kalundborg Eco-Industrial Park  – a cooperative in which companies use each other’s by-products and otherwise share resources in order to both save money and improve the environment. It’s a smart way to bring industry and environmentalists together.

I’m pleased to see that support for this novel idea has not waned, but if anything, interest is greater than ever.

Click here to read more.

Click here to listen to the radio report on this bill.

In the News: 

Senate Bill 5244 – Needed Support For Nuclear Power

By James Conca, Forbes | 


The Washington State Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee [heard] a new bill, SB 5244, encouraging the production of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and components through the Invest in Washington Act.

Expanding nuclear power is important to address both climate change and to stimulate domestic manufacturing of the energy source America originally developed.

Sponsored by Washington State Senator Sharon Brown, this bill promotes the manufacture and deployment of new nuclear reactors.

...Many state and local governments influence the cost [of these new technologies] through fees and market structures that purposefully disfavor nuclear. Which is why bills like SB 5244 are crucial.

Click here to read the full article.

From the District:

The fight to end Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Association

Last month, I had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Kay Lehmann and other local members of the Alzheimer's Association's Washington chapter. 

The group was doing a virtual version of their annual Advocacy Day at the Capitol. While the meeting was held via Zoom this year, it was a pleasure to hear about the great work being done by this organization.

The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. 

To learn more about this great organization, or to get links to additional resources, click here.

I look forward to meeting with everyone again next year -- in person!

In closing...

As always, I value hearing directly from you. I am here to be your voice, and your feedback on bills before the Senate is very important to me. If you would like to contact me please write, phone or email.

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PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Brown's office at (360) 786-7614.

Feb. 15, 2021

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202 Newhouse Building
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