Washington's 2024 legislative session has begun!

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Jan. 9, 2024

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2024 legislative session began yesterday. This session takes place following the completion of the 105-day session in 2023. This year's focus will include updates to the three state budgets (operating, transportation, and capital) for the 2023-2025 biennium. The session is scheduled for 60 days and will be shorter due to last year's extended session to develop the state's two-year budgets. Please know that serving and answering your questions about state government is very important to me and my office.

I want 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 will be 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.


Last year's legislative activities included a 105-day session from January to April and a special session in May. This year's legislative session is scheduled for 60 days, from January – March.

I view my job as your state senator because I work for you. As constituents of the 12th District, you will always be my priority. As you can 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 statewide groups and their hired advocates' role in the legislative arena. Still, I never want their active participation in the process to overshadow your opportunity to share insights.

Meeting the office staff

While the interim months during this past year were very busy with district visits and events, 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.

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. We 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. This may seem like a very ambitious goal, but it is the standard we set.

Staff photo

We are excited to serve you this session. Pictured in the photo with me (from left to right): Emily Galde, Eric LaFontaine, Elizabeth Popoff and Ethan Jud.

Here are the staff assisting me with this session:

Elizabeth Popoff, Legislative Assistant

Elizabeth was hired two years ago as my Legislative Assistant, previously working as my Legislative Session Aide. As my Legislative Assistant, she works closely with me on all matters in the office, with constituents, and on legislative priorities. She and the other staff will assist with meeting requests, constituent appointments, email responses, and other activities. 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 from the University of Idaho with a Master of Public Administration degree. Her work experience includes RH2 Engineering, Cashmere Valley Bank, Fabulous Feet Dance Studio, and Lake Life Chelan.

Emily Galde, Legislative Session Aide

Emily is returning to my office this year as my Legislative Session Aide, having worked in the same position last session. She graduated from Washington State University, completing her Political Science and Pre-Law Program studies. Emily will be based in our Olympia office and assist with incoming correspondence, constituent visits, and capitol tours, among many other things. Emily is very passionate about state government and the judiciary branch. Her past work includes working for Lake Life Chelan in restaurant service and as a legal intern.

Eric LaFontaine, Public Information Officer

Eric is a communications staff member assigned to me through the Senate Republican Caucus. He will work closely with me on all aspects of my communication efforts, 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. Eric graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science, earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University, and served in the Navy Reserves. He worked in communications for the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Before that, he founded and published various media organizations, magazines, and community newspapers.

Ethan Jud, Legislative Intern

Ethan Jud 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, Ethan will work daily for my office, tracking legislative priorities, meeting with constituents, responding to phone calls, and coordinating correspondence. Ethan is from Camas, Washington, and attends Saint Martin's University. He is a student-athlete at the university, studying Criminal Justice and playing on the soccer team. 

Committees holding hearings

Brad ennews

The first phase of each legislative session involves several days of committee work where bills being considered receive public hearings. These hearings include briefings of each bill, questions from committee members, and public testimony "for" and "against" the proposed measures. Bills approved by their committees can be considered in the full Senate. To become law, each bill must be approved through the Senate and House process and signed by the Governor.

Staying connected with us 

For the 2024 session, my staff and I look forward to serving you from the State Capitol and our Olympia office. This work will include in-person and remote meeting options for constituents and we make extra efforts to meet your needs to ensure that our high standards for constituent customer service can be achieved.

Please know, however, that I recently moved buildings as my prior office is located in a building that is being rebuilt. My temporary office is on the second floor of a "modular" building near the State Capitol and the Governor's residence. As you can imagine, there may be more welcoming arrangements to accommodate constituents than this new, temporary building. So, continued remote meetings by Zoom or Teams are helpful during this session and can save your group a trip to Olympia.

I also frequently meet with constituents throughout the District during the weekend session. If you have a group that would like to meet with me in your community during the session on a weekend, please get in touch with us to be added to our in-district meeting request list. My office aims to respond to your inquiries and provide the highest customer service.

The best ways to connect with us:

·        Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

·        Online: contact me

·        Phone: 360-786-7622

·        Legislative Hotline:1-800-562-6000

·        Media Contact: Eric LaFontaine 360-786-7408


The Washington State Legislature welcomes hundreds of students each session to serve as Pages at the State Capitol. Pictured above is Wenatchee High School student Amelia McAllister, who served as a Senate Page last session. The Legislative Page Program is a one-week experience (for students 14-16 years old) to learn about the legislative process. For more information, please review the Senate Page Program.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve

It is my honor to serve as your state senator in Olympia. If you have any questions about this year’s legislative session or bills being considered, please call our Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. To learn more about my legislative efforts on your behalf, please visit my website senatorbradhawkins.org.

Also, my office has been actively working to share information about my Facebook page. You can 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

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