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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week concludes the second week of our 60-day session. Because our time together is limited, important legislation will be brought before the House chamber at any time. This week we had our first significant floor debate on one of the largest issues facing our state – the controversial long-term care insurance program and payroll tax.

I will go into the details of this debate in this e-newsletter. First, I would like to cover my other top priority – housing.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas regarding your state government or any of the topics and issues mentioned in this update, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this email. 

My priorities in 2022 | Housing

My foundation for introducing legislation is rooted in reform and reprioritization. The Legislature has approved policies with many unintended consequences that profoundly impact our communities and state. My priorities for this session will be focused on transportation and housing.

In my last e-newsletter, I provided additional details on my transportation plan introduced this session and other current issues in the transportation arena.

I have consistently introduced legislation to address our affordable housing crisis for the past five years. There are many regulations and hurdles in place for builders that need to be addressed to increase our supply. The majority party continues to introduce policies that adds further regulatory burdens to housing providers, including the push for rent control. It makes no sense especially during these challenging times. I will continue fighting against these bad policies.

The bills I have introduced include:

On day one of the 2022 session, all of last year’s bills that did not pass the Legislature were reintroduced in their house of origin under Concurrent Resolution 4405. Therefore, these bills I sponsored last year are still active.

  • House Bill 1232 – Planning for affordable housing under the Growth Management Act (GMA). This bill received a public hearing in the House Local Government Committee on Jan. 18. It’s scheduled for executive action in the same committee on Jan. 26. I will keep you posted on the progress of this bill as it moves through the Legislative process again this session. I hope it will make it across the finish line.
  • House Bill 1233 – Concerning limited areas of more intensive rural development.

2022 House Republican priorities

The controversial long-term care insurance program and payroll tax

House Republicans have promised to bring real solutions to the people of Washington state. We are keeping that promise.

While the majority party continues passing tax increases and punitive policies that make daily life more expensive, House Republicans advocate for tax relief and policies to help alleviate financial burdens for struggling families, students, small business owners, and the most vulnerable. This includes repealing or replacing the unpopular, insolvent, and inadequate long-term care insurance program and payroll tax.

On Jan. 19, House Republicans ran two procedural motions on the House floor to relieve the House Appropriations Committee of House Bills 1594 and 1913 and place them on the 2nd reading calendar. If these motions had been accepted, they would have made these Republican alternatives eligible for consideration by the House.

House Bill 1594 sought a full repeal of the program and payroll tax. House Bill 1913 would have repealed and replaced the current program by making long-term care insurance affordable for those who want it but optional for those who don’t, without imposing a payroll tax on anyone.

We believe our motion brought transparency to the process by putting on the record our other alternatives and real solutions to fixing this disastrous mess were not being considered.

The House voted on House Bill 1732, which I supported. This bill will delay the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax by 18 months. This will give the Legislature more time to unwind and improve this unwanted program.

For more information:

It is an honor to serve you.

In Service,

Andrew Barkis

State Representative Andrew Barkis, 2nd Legislative District
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7824 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000