2022 Legislative session priorities: return balance in Olympia, restore public safety

Legislative update from Olympia

banner new background
Wagoner committee wa flag

Dear Neighbor,

As we begin a new legislative session, I wanted to thank you for the honor of representing our district in the Washington State Senate. This has continued to be an extremely difficult year for all of us and I am honored to be your voice in Olympia to fight for your rights and freedoms.



I continue to be frustrated by the governor’s assertion of “emergency” powers.  After nearly two years of autocratic rule, it is way past time to bring the people’s voice back into government.  That is why I am supporting the BALANCE Act (SB 5039) which would allow your elected legislators to review all emergency orders after 30 days. This balanced approach retains the governor’s authority to act during an emergency, just not in perpetuity.




Public Safety

Addressing public safety concerns is a top priority for both House and Senate Republicans this year. The need for new and amended laws in the areas of public safety, ensuring that we put victims first, fix flaws at the Department of Corrections, and address State v. Blake (legalization of hard drugs) is unprecedented.  Crimes of every kind, from property-crimes to human trafficking and murder are seeing triple-digit increases.  We have been working on a wide variety of bills in all these areas and I invite you to learn more about them by reading Safe Washington: A Republican plan for increasing public safety, reducing crime, and putting victims first!

By tying the hands of our law enforcement officers under the guise of police reform, the legislature closed the door to assistance for many struggling with addiction and mental health problems. We must reaffirm the right and duty of law enforcement to take these people into custody and get them the help they need.  Without intervention, these people destroy themselves and wreak havoc on their neighbors. We can and must do better!

Many communities are successfully experimenting with imbedded social workers (co-responders) in law enforcement. That is why I have sponsored Senate Bill 5644. This legislation establishes the first funding, framework, and professional standards for a co-responder training network. These social workers are already on the front-line with our emergency responders; they deserve the adequate tools and training to be an effective and complimentary force alongside our officers.

As I continue to serve as the Ranking Republican member of the Senate’s Behavioral Health Subcommittee, these interconnected issues remain very important to me. We must do more to add local resources in our communities to help individuals with addiction and mental health issues.


Legislation brought to me by constituent moving through legislature!

One of the best parts of my job as your representative in Olympia is helping you cut through the red tape of government bureaucracy. Sometimes this means working with a state agency on your behalf, other times it’s hearing from you on what public projects need new or additional funding in our district. Occasionally, it’s helping you get a law changed in our state. This year, I sponsored Senate Bill 5545 after a constituent was denied veteran survivor benefits for tuition following the death of her husband. Because of her, this bill will ensure that a surviving spouse of an eligible veteran or National Guard member won’t lose tuition waiver benefits based on arbitrary deadlines.


If you have an idea for a new law or see a gap in an existing law, I invite you to contact my office. Please remember that I am here to serve you. Although we may not be able to meet face-to-face, I encourage you to reach out to my office and to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns on matters of importance to you. And please, if you don’t already, follow me on Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.







January 15, 2022



Let's Be Social! 

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated on the latest news from Olympia


Email: Keith.Wagoner@leg.wa.gov

Phone: 360-786-7676