Washington’s 2022 legislative session begins today!

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January 10, 2022

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2022 legislative session began 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 10. Serving you and answering your questions about state government is very important to me and my office.

I’d like to take the time to introduce my staff who will be working hard this year to help answer your questions and keep you connected with state government. The legislative offices have some year-round employees, but additional staff are hired to assist with the high workload associated with the legislative session. My office works very hard to select the best people for my office staff because I view them as an important element of my public service to you.

The way I view my job as your state senator is that I work for you. As constituents of the 12th District, you are and always will be our number-one priority. As you can probably imagine, legislators receive speaking and meeting requests from throughout the state, and many organizations and state agencies hire professional advocates to reach out to us. I appreciate the role that statewide groups and their hired advocates have in the legislative arena, but I never want their active participation in the process to overshadow or squeeze out your opportunity to share insights with me.

Capitol Dome and Sundial

The 2022 legislative session will be conducted in a mostly virtual format this year. This will include virtual committee and remote constituent meetings and Senate floor debates in which only about one-third of the senators are allowed on the floor at the same time.

Meeting the office staff

While the interim months during this past year were very busy due to COVID, wildfire and other issues, the legislative session is usually the busiest time of the year. My calendar will likely quickly fill up this session as a result of my policy committee schedule, education committee leadership sessions, legislative caucus meetings, Senate floor debates and voting, local media commitments, individual colleague visits, office staff meetings, and constituent appointments. It is not uncommon for my office to receive several hundred emails per day during the session in addition to phone calls and postage mail. The staff below understand my philosophy for constituent customer service and will be assisting me with scheduling requests, bill tracking, media inquiries, virtual meetings, email responses, and phone calls. All of us in my office value public service and the opportunity you provide us to serve you. Given the high volume of requests and communications we receive – and the research required for responses – it may take us a couple of days to get back to you, but we will be working very hard to ensure that not a single constituent inquiry goes unanswered. Given the thousands of inquiries we receive throughout a legislative session, this may seem like a very ambitious goal, but it is the standard set for my office.

Here are the staff helping me this session:

  • Justus Phelps, Legislative Assistant

Justus has worked as my full-time Legislative Assistant since July 2019. He is a graduate of Washington State University with a degree in public affairs and is currently a graduate student pursuing his Master of Public Administration degree. While at WSU as an undergraduate, Justus served in government relations for the university’s student government and participated in legislative activities in Olympia. As my Legislative Assistant, I work very closely with Justus throughout the year to track legislative issues, respond to constituents, coordinate scheduling, and oversee office work. For those of you who have reached out to the office in past months or years, you probably have had the pleasure of interacting with Justus.

  • Brian Zylstra, Public Information Officer

Brian is a senior member of the communications staff assigned to me through the Senate Republican Caucus. He has worked closely with me on all aspects of my communication efforts since 2018, including managing my website, editing my email newsletters, reviewing my guest opinion submittals, distributing news releases, coordinating local radio interviews, and responding to media requests. Prior to working with me, Brian was Deputy Communications Director with the Office of Secretary of State. He has a close connection to the 12th District. Brian and his family often visit his in-laws, who for many years have operated a successful fruit business near Manson.

  • Elizabeth Popoff, Legislative Session Aide

Elizabeth has recently joined my office as my Legislative Session Aide. In this role, she works closely with me and the other staff to assist with meeting requests, constituent appointments, email responses, and other office coordination. Elizabeth is a native of the Wenatchee Valley and was a member of the 2019 Apple Blossom Festival Royal Court. She graduated from the University of Washington with a communications degree and is currently earning her Master of Public Administration degree through the University of Idaho. Her work experience includes RH2 Engineering, Cashmere Valley Bank, Fabulous Feet Dance Studio, and Lake Life Chelan.

  • Kal Cummings, Legislative Intern

Kal is serving as my Legislative Intern this session. He spends a portion of each week completing a rigorous program with other interns from in-state universities. In addition to his intern program duties, Kal will work each day for my office, tracking legislative priorities, meeting with constituents, responding to phone calls, and coordinating correspondence. Kal is from Waterville, is a graduate of Wenatchee Valley College and is currently a student at Gonzaga University.

Capitol Rotunda

The Capitol Building rotunda will likely be mostly empty this session like last year. Due to the “hybrid” format and strict COVID protocols, building access is limited.

Staying connected with us 

For the 2022 session, my staff and I will be working remotely from different locations to assist you, and I will be travelling back and forth to Olympia for in-person activities. This work arrangement has taken extra coordination to put in place in order to ensure that our high standards for constituent customer service can still be achieved. We believe, despite the separate locations, that my office is still able to be very responsive to your inquiries and provide a high level of customer service.

The best ways to connect with us:

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

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

Please contact me with questions or concerns

While the Capitol Building in Olympia will likely remain mostly empty except for members and staff, please know that our staff members are working remotely and are ready to assist you. If you have questions or comments about state government or the legislative session, please contact me anytime.

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



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

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