Beginning the second week of the 60-day legislative session

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January 17, 2022

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The legislative session has begun its second week and much work is occurring. The session itself is based on a rigorous schedule involving committee work, bill consideration, and budget development. The first major phase of each session is the committee work, which includes separate groups of legislators hearing briefings and testimony on proposed legislation. If the legislative proposals receive committee approval, they advance to the next stage in the process, which could include floor debate. If a Senate bill advances through the Senate chamber, it must also successfully pass the same process – including committee approval and floor debate – in the House of Representatives. The same is true for a bill that originates in the House. Before the House or Senate can debate legislation, usually later in the legislative session, it must receive approval from its assigned committee within the initial weeks of consideration.

Sens. Hawkins and Wellman in education committee meeting.

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.

Legislative committee assignments

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 three Senate committees described below. This session will be very busy for me with work on these three committees:

Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee

  • This will be my fourth year on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and my third 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 (48 percent of the operating budget expenditures) and I bring 10 years of experience serving on the boards of the Eastmont School District and North Central Educational Service District to my committee work.

State Government and Elections Committee

  • I am also returning to the Senate State Government and Elections Committee for a third year. This committee considers issues related to state government, including procurement standards, rulemaking, and emergency response. The committee also has jurisdiction over veterans, elections, campaign finance, and public disclosure issues. Given all of the recent proposals and adjustments to state government and elections, this has been a very busy committee.

Transportation Committee

  • My third assignment is the Senate’s Transportation Committee, which helps develop the nearly $12 billion state transportation budget. This budget funds the construction and maintenance of the state transportation system, including the maintenance and preservation of roads, bridges, and ferries, as well as the state agencies and commissions that serve our transportation system. These agencies and commissions include the Washington State Patrol, Department of Licensing, Department of Transportation, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, County Road Administration Board, Transportation Improvement Board, Transportation Commission, and Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board.
Capitol covered in snow

While it does not snow in Olympia as often as it does in the 12th District, our Capitol does receive snow sometimes during the winter. This photo was taken in 2019.

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 2021), 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 3 is the cutoff date for the policy bills. During this period, hearings will be held on bills to receive public testimony. The Senate fiscal committees (Transportation and Ways & Means) have until February 7 to pass Senate proposals that were forwarded from the policy committees.    

Capitol rotunda from above

An elevated view of the state Capitol rotunda, looking down from inside the dome.

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. As was the case during the 2021 legislative session, members of the public are not allowed to observe Senate floor debate this session in the public galleries and public constituent meetings again will be conducted virtually. If you would like to schedule a meeting with me, I encourage you to contact my office ahead of time so we can assist you.

Sen. Hawkins and KPQ's Dave Bernstein

I enjoy regular discussions with KPQ, KOHO, and KOZI radio throughout the year. This photo was taken outside KPQ with Dave Bernstein, host of “The Agenda.” Click here to listen to my interview with Dave on the opening day of session.

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 KPQ, KOHO, and KOZI. A few days ago, I did a 30-minute interview with KPQ's Dave Bernstein, the host of The Agenda talk show. You can hear that interview here

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



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District

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