A fast legislative session is approaching

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November 27, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we look ahead to Thanksgiving and the fun holiday approaching, lawmakers across the state are also looking ahead to the upcoming legislative session. Our Legislature convenes every January at our state Capitol, but the duration of the sessions alternates between a “long” and “short” session based on the state’s two-year budget cycle. The state constitution specifies that legislative sessions are 105 consecutive days in the years the state develops its two-year budgets and 60 consecutive days during the in-between years. The budgets approved last session are for July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021, so the upcoming legislative session is scheduled for 60 days. While the upcoming session is scheduled to be much shorter, I anticipate that it will be very fast paced with a number of moving parts and pieces.

Looking ahead to the session

The 2020 session is intended to bring only minor modifications to the previously approved budgets. Our state approves three budgets (operating, transportation, and capital), and we can expect the upcoming session to bring adjustments to each. The transportation budget, due to the recent passage of the car tab Initiative 976, could receive the most changes. The largest state budget is the operating budget, which is dependent on incoming state revenues. With our economy continuing to hold steady, hopefully there will be less of a push for any additional taxes. However, with the political pendulum swinging so far over during the recent 2018 “blue wave” elections and the expanded majorities still in place, additional taxes – unfortunately – could still be considered.

Sen. Hawkins floor speech

The Legislature will convene on January 13, 2020 for a 60-day session.

New legislation and budget updates expected

In addition to updating the state budgets, each session presents lawmakers with opportunities to adjust current laws or approve new ones. I am usually very selective about the legislation I choose to sponsor, especially during the 60-day sessions when the legislative calendar is condensed. Throughout my years in Olympia, I have learned that any setback or minor disagreement in a short session can doom an otherwise good proposal. The strict schedule for the shorter sessions does not always mean fewer ideas are introduced, though, as sometimes lawmakers push forward with their new proposals regardless. If the Legislature intends to consider significant new policies along with updates to the three budgets, my prediction is a full and very fast-paced session. Hopefully, any budget modifications will be reasonable adjustments and ones that demonstrate a responsible use of your tax dollars. The new policies pursued this session should also be sustainable or else budget cutbacks could be necessary if our state experiences leaner economic times in future years.

Visit with me back home during session

Listening and being accessible to you are my top priorities, and I welcome your feedback on issues or concerns. Throughout last year’s session I often met with individuals or groups by appointment on Saturdays either at Pybus Market or at other locations in the Wenatchee area. If you or your group would rather save the trip and meet back home, I will be making myself available during scheduled times on Saturdays beginning on January 18th. If you are interested in a meeting, please contact my office in December or early January at 360-786-7622 or by email at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov to schedule an appointment.

Thankful for the opportunity to serve

Throughout the upcoming legislative session, if you have thoughts or questions, please feel free to contact my office anytime by phone, email, or standard mail. If you or groups you are a part of are planning trips to Olympia, please contact my office early to schedule appointments as it is always great to meet with you. As we enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, please know that I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve as your state senator. It is a special honor for me, and I’m proud to represent our region.

Have a fun and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

With gratitude,


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