Brad Hawkins: Legislative Session Update – February
Greetings from Olympia! We are into the second month of the 105-day session here at the Capitol, and committees are busy holding public hearings on bills. Some of those bills will make it to the House floor for a vote by the full House of Representatives. The House and Senate have strict deadlines to move bills through the process with the goal of completing work and approving a balanced budget within the 105 days. The first deadline for the House is Feb. 20, when bills must pass out of policy committees. Another significant deadline is March 11, when bills need to pass the House before heading to the Senate for consideration.
For our district, I have been working on proposals to address recovery efforts related to the devastating Carlton Complex Fire. First, I'm proposing state agencies put together a comprehensive model policy to help school districts restore their school infrastructure following natural disasters. This bill is in response to my work with Pateros School District, which suffered more than $2 million in fire damage to its only school building. I am pleased that this bill recently passed the House unanimously. Second, I'm working to secure funding within existing revenues to help with the recovery effort, namely for small business grants, public infrastructure and tourism promotion. Third, I have requested state funding within the capital budget for water infrastructure projects in Pateros and Brewster.
One of the bills I have sponsored related to local government was approved unanimously in committee. The proposal would allow chief examiners, who administer tests to law enforcement personnel, to reside outside the county in which they work. Chelan County brought this issue to my attention because current law (approved in 1959) has overly strict residency requirements for a chief examiner, which is a staff level position. As you can imagine, some Chelan County residents may actually live a few miles away in Douglas County and vice versa. This is a small, but common sense fix to state law that will help local jurisdictions with appropriate staffing.
Once bills pass the House, they go to the Senate for the same process: committee hearing, committee vote and Senate floor. If the Senate passes the same version as the House without any changes (called amendments), the bill goes to the governor for his signature or veto.
I have met with many constituents who traveled to Olympia to testify on proposals, including law enforcement officials, fire chiefs, teachers, physicians, nurses, students and business owners. If you have plans to travel to Olympia, let me know. Meeting with constituents is my favorite part of this amazing job.
Please feel free to contact my office anytime by phone at (360) 786-7832, toll-free at (800) 562-6000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also encourage you to sign up for my periodic e-mail updates on my website at www.representativebradhawkins.com.
Thank you for allowing me the honor of representing you.
Rep. Brad Hawkins is serving his second term representing the 12th Legislative District, which includes Chelan, Douglas, and parts of Grant and Okanogan counties. He lives in East Wenatchee with his wife and two sons.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000