Legislative session crosses its halfway point

Hawkins Capitol

March 7, 2023

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Washington State Legislature’s scheduled 105-day session is progressing smoothly. My colleagues and I have now completed 58 days of the session, so we are just over halfway through the 105-day process. During the middle days of session, senators spend the majority of time, either in the full Senate chambers or remotely, considering bills already approved from the various committees. At this stage in the process, if bills have not been approved by their committees, they are likely done for the year. Also, since this is the first year of the biennium (the two-year period connected to budgets and bills), bills will continue to be eligible for consideration next session if they do not advance this year.


The popular sundial is in view as the sun sets over the state Capitol in Olympia. When it’s not raining, the sundial is a typical gathering spot in on the Capitol campus because it is centrally located between the Capitol Building and the House and Senate office buildings.

Senate and House focused on "floor" voting

The Senate has spent several days “on the floor” for this portion of the session, meaning we are either at our desks in the Senate Chamber to debate and vote on bills placed on the voting calendars by the Senate Rules Committee. The Rules Committee acts as a final gatekeeper after committee approvals and before votes by the full Senate. During this 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. The Republicans and Democrats will take breaks for caucus meetings throughout the day to discuss bills and amendments. Sometimes, the Senate takes a dinner break before returning for more discussion and votes into the evening hours. The evening sessions can go very late and sometimes all the way into the following day.

Cropped Revenue Chart

This chart shows the revenue sources for 2023-2025. The state uses these estimated revenues to fund its operating budget. The majority of state revenue is a result of the two tax sources: sales tax and business & occupation tax. The state portion of your property tax (state school levy) is estimated to be $9.4 billion. (This tax is approximately 32 percent of your overall property tax bill. Your remaining property taxes are locally determined). Other tax sources of revenue include real estate, tobacco, liquor, cannabis, and other alcohol taxes.

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 105-day session, those dates do not occur as quickly as during the 60-day session, but they still leave little time for bills to advance if questions or controversy arise. March 8th 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.


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

How to follow legislative activities

The Legislature utilizes a variety of technology to ensure smooth operations and most of these resources are also available online. These resources can be located at www.leg.wa.gov, which includes access to floor calendars, committee schedules, bill tracking services, roll call votes, and official agendas. If you are unsuccessful at finding your information, you can contact the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. My office also has three staff members plus a communications officer who assist me each day. We communicate regularly by phone, email, video conference, and in-person. All of these options are available to constituents who want to follow my legislative activities. Television Washington or TVW.org allows the public to follow committee hearings and floor debates. If you have questions about the legislative process or the status of individual bills, the Legislative Information Center is also an excellent resource.


Enjoying visits from local officials

The role of a State Senator involves many duties, including analyzing bills, debating colleagues, taking votes, engaging in committee work, speaking to the media, touring your district, and hosting constituents. While I enjoy every aspect of my job, connecting with visiting constituents is definitely my favorite. I can learn so much from them, just by listening. This helps me better understand the district’s priorities, so that I can advocate for funding and better represent my communities when voting. It has been a real privilege to have connected with so many constituents this year, including city and county officials, teachers, agricultural leaders, tech professionals, utility representatives, and more. Below are a couple photos from recent visits with city officials.

Monroe Delegation

I had a great meeting recently with Monroe officials during their recent visit to discuss city issues with legislators. From left to right: Councilmember Heather Fulcher, Councilmember Tami Kinney, Mayor Geoffrey Thomas, and Councilmember Jason Gamble with me in the Senate chambers.

E Wenatchee

East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford and Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz visited with me in Olympia earlier in the session and testified for Senate Bill 5001, our public facilities districts bill. While at the Capitol, the mayors met with a variety of officials and staff related to city projects.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve

My position as State Senator exists to serve you. If you have any questions about the session timeline, state budgets, or other topics, please contact me at senatorbradhawkins.org. Please call our Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 if you need immediate assistance at any time. Be sure to like and follow me on Facebook @SenatorBradHawkins, for my latest updates.

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



Brad Hawkins



State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org


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