2020 session proceeding quickly

Pybus Market banner

February 10, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Legislature is about to change gears and move to a key phase of the 2020 session. During the first four weeks of our session, my Senate colleagues and I spent the majority of our time in committee meetings in public hearings on bills introduced in the Senate. February 7 was the final day for our policy committees to pass Senate bills, and tomorrow is the deadline for the Senate fiscal committees to approve Senate bills.

Senate and House transition to "floor" voting

Beginning Wednesday, the Senate and House will spend eight days “on the floor,” meaning at our desks in the chamber debating and voting on bills that were approved by prior committees and placed on the voting calendar by the Senate Rules Committee, which acts as a final gatekeeper before votes by the full Senate.

During this next phase of the lawmaking process, my colleagues and I will begin our work on the Senate floor every morning, take a short lunch break, and continue with debates and votes throughout the afternoon. Typically, the Republicans and Democrats will break into one or more separate caucus meetings each day to discuss proposals and possible amendments on the bills brought forward for a vote. Sometimes, the Senate takes a dinner break before returning for more discussion and votes into the evening hours.

Sen. Hawkins and Sen. Short on Senate floor

Senator Shelly Short, the Republican floor leader, and I often confer on matters before the full Senate. The two of us each represent portions of Okanogan County and often discuss common issues within our neighboring districts.

Fulfilling my role as assistant floor leader

Senate floor action is a busy time for us all, especially for me because of my role as assistant floor leader, an elected leadership position within my caucus. The floor debates vary, depending on the issue. Some of the debates can be contentious while others might appear mundane to those watching, but there is actually a great amount of planning and coordination involved. In my role, I help track bills and floor amendments, as well as which members will be offering amendments. There are many parts of a floor debate that require strategizing among the leadership team and my other colleagues. Additionally, because of my role as Ranking Member on the Senate’s Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, I have the added responsibility of advising my colleagues on any bills approved by this committee coming before the full Senate. It is a very busy time.

Senate "floor cutoff" quickly approaching

The entire legislative session is based on strict “cutoff” dates required for bills to advance further in the process. In a short 60-day session, those dates occur more frequently. February 19 is the “floor cutoff,” the deadline for the Senate to pass bills that were introduced in our chamber, except for bills necessary to implement the operating, capital or transportation budgets. Once the floor cutoff has passed, my Senate colleagues and I will return to committee meetings to focus on bills approved by the House of Representatives. The House will likewise consider Senate-approved legislation in its committees.    

Sen. Hawkins with Chelan, Douglas Co. auditors

When back in the district during session, I make myself available for Saturday appointments. Recently, Douglas County Auditor Thad Duvall and Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore met with me at Pybus Market to discuss election legislation. 

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

Each week during the session, I call our local radio stations to participate in live interviews about the latest happenings in the legislative session. If you’d like to hear my most recent interviews, click on these links for KPQ, KOHO, and KOZI.    

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your 12th District 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