2017 Legislative Session under way at the state Capitol

Senator Hawkins e-news banner

Jan. 13, 2017

oath of office from behind Senate rostrum
I joined other new senators in taking the oath of office Monday afternoon from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today is the fifth day of the 2017 legislative session. It is my honor to be back in Olympia to serve you, this time as your 12th Legislative District’s state senator. My e-mail address is the same, but the office address and telephone number have changed – please see them below. Please contact my office anytime you have thoughts, concerns, or questions about legislative matters.

The November election brought changes at the national level but not significantly in our state government. Democrats continue to hold a 50-48 majority in the House of Representatives. The Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus is again leading the 49-member state Senate. Governor Inslee’s re-election means a Democrat still has the final say on which bills passed by the Legislature become law. However, the election did change how I represent you; as a Republican I am now on the majority side in the Senate. That means issues I support on behalf of our district are more likely to move forward.

Committee Assignments and Leadership Positions

The Senate has merged two committees to create what some are calling a “supercommittee” that addresses not only agriculture and water but also trade and economic development. Sen. Judy Warnick of Moses Lake will lead this important panel, and I accepted her invitation to serve as vice chair.

Sen. Kirk Pearson of Monroe, who serves the legislative district on the other side of Stevens Pass, will continue as chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Parks, with me as vice chair. I also will serve on the Senate Transportation Committee, which is one of the Senate’s two budget committees.

Finally, I was nominated and elected by my Senate-majority colleagues to serve in the leadership position of assistant floor leader. The “floor” refers to the Senate chamber, where we will spend many hours debating and voting on legislation. The job of floor leader seems to be part quarterback and part traffic director, especially for the majority side. I look forward to assisting the floor leader this session. As a member of the leadership team, I also get the opportunity to participate in the elected leadership meetings. We have held two of those meetings so far, which has been a great learning experience for me.

2017 Session Outlook

The Legislature is to adopt three new budgets (operating, capital, transportation) and finally agree on reforms to the system that funds our public schools. The state’s financial outlook is encouraging, at least for the next year. For that reason, the fact that Governor Inslee wants a new tax on income from “capital gains” and other higher taxes is a big concern. The last thing we need are billions and billions of dollars’ worth of tax increases that could chase jobs and investments away.

Senate updates -- Tuesday mornings on KOHO Radio

I discussed the 2017 session outlook this past Tuesday during an interview with KOHO Radio in Wenatchee. I will be on the air with KOHO at 7:30 a.m. each Tuesday to provide a Senate update. I hope you will be able to listen in. You can click here to listen to this week’s interview.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you!

It is my great privilege to serve as your state senator. If you have any questions or comments, please contact my office anytime using the information below. If you are planning a trip to Olympia and would like to visit the Capitol Building, I would be happy to connect with you or your group when you are here.

I encourage you to share this newsletter with friends and family; they may subscribe using the information below my contact information. Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia!



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District
E-mail: brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov 

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

107 Newhouse Building - P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
(360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000