2020 legislative session begins

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January 13, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome from Olympia where the state Legislature is opening its 2020 session today. Because this session takes place in the second year of this two-year legislative term, our state constitution limits it to 60 days. The Legislature is scheduled to finish the session on March 12.

Opening day brings two new members

The key event on the opening day of any legislative session is the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected senators. Last year, about half of the members of the Senate were sworn in, having been elected in November 2018. This year we have two new members joining the Senate, Senator Derek Stanford of the 1st District near Seattle and Senator Ron Muzzall of the 10th District, which includes Whidbey Island and areas north of Everett. Each replaces a senator who resigned or retired last year. Senator Muzzall is new to the Legislature whereas Senator Stanford served in the House of Representatives for several years before joining the Senate. I have spent time with Senator Muzzall during pre-session briefing and planning meetings, and I know Senator Stanford from the House where we served together for four years. On Tuesday/Wednesday, my Senate colleagues and I will make the short walk across the Legislative Building to the House chamber for the traditional joint session in which the governor delivers the “state of the state” address. Governor Inslee will use this speech to outline his priorities and legislative goals for the year.

Sen. Rolfes and Sen. Hawkins

Returning as the Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the Senate’s lead budget developer is Senator Christine Rolfes of Bainbridge Island. She and I have served for three years together in the Senate and have participated in many important discussions on legislative issues.

My leadership position, committee assignments

I will continue in my fourth year as the Deputy Floor Leader for our caucus, a position I was re-elected to last year by my Senate colleagues. As a member of our elected leadership team, I will join the other members in regular leadership and strategy meetings throughout the session. Additionally, while much of the session’s first week is devoted to ceremonies, my legislative colleagues and I also are participating in committee meetings. This year I will again serve on two Senate committees. This will be my third year on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and my second year as its ranking Republican member. The ranking member is the highest ranking minority member of the committee and the one who works most closely with the committee chair on issues. I enjoy serving on this committee because the state invests significantly in K-12 education (52 percent of the operating budget expenditures) and I bring 10 years of experience serving on the board of the Eastmont School District and North Central Educational Service District to my committee work. I’m also returning to the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee for a second year. Given all of the recent proposals and adjustments to state government, tribal issues, and election systems, this has been a very busy committee.

Sen. Hawkins with Sen. Wellman

As the Republican ranking member on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, I work closely with the Chair, Senator Lisa Wellman of Mercer Island, during committee hearings and voting sessions.

Following the legislative process

If you are interested in following Senate or House committee meeting agendas, committee schedules, bill introductions, and other documents this session, click here. And if you are searching for a specific bill or information about it, click here. Since this is a “short” session (compared to the “long” session of 105 days, like in 2019), there haven’t been as many bills prefiled this year as last year, but hundreds of proposals will be introduced in the coming weeks. Senate policy committees will have four weeks to consider and approve Senate policy bills that are introduced or reintroduced as February 7 is the cutoff date for the policy bills. During this period, hearings will be on held on these bills to allow public testimony on them. The Senate fiscal committees (Transportation, and Ways and Means) have until February 11 to pass Senate proposals that were forwarded from the policy committees.    

Staying connected throughout the weeks ahead

I hope you will contact my office if you have questions or comments about legislation introduced this session, or other issues involving state government. If you are thinking about traveling to Olympia to meet with me this session, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can do my best to schedule some time. I would love to meet with you!  

Meeting with me back home during session

If you want to talk with me about an issue but would rather meet closer to home than making the long trip to Olympia, I will make myself available during scheduled times on Saturdays in the Wenatchee area starting January 18. If you are interested in a meeting, please contact my office soon at 360-786-7622 or email at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov to schedule an appointment.

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

  • Click here for my January 6 interview on KPQ's "The Agenda" show.
  • Click here for my interviews last week with KOZI and KOHO and KPQ in which I previewed the session​.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.



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