Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this email finds you well! This week marked the third week of our 60-day session. We have already spent time on the virtual House floor voting on bills; however, our primary focus remains in our respected committees learning about, debating, and ultimately moving legislation forward. This year, I am proud to serve on the Housing, Human Services, and Veterans Committee and the Transportation Committee as the ranking Republican.
The list of bills introduced this session is long, making our time in committee invaluable as we discuss the policies before us. Next week, we will hit our first major deadline of session. Any policy introduced in the House that does not impact the budget must be heard and moved out of its committee, or it will not see further action this session.
As we begin the first transition from committee work to House floor action, I want to provide a policy update on the real solutions that are important to you.
I recorded the first Barkis Breakdown of 2022 – my session video update – in which I talked about my top legislative priorities, including legislation I have sponsored. You can watch it here or by clicking on the photo below.
Last week, we spent time voting on the virtual House floor on bills. The most significant bill that has moved through both the House and Senate thus far is House Bill 1732, which postpones the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. Gov. Inslee signed the bill into law on Thursday, Jan. 27. Lawmakers now have 18-months to fix this insolvent, unpopular, and unwanted program. You can read last week's update for more detailed information on this issue.
I want to take this opportunity to update you on the status of the bills I have introduced in 2022.
- House Bill 1603 – Shifting funding obligations from the transportation budget to the operating budget (REAL Act). The House Appropriations Committee has not scheduled this bill for a public hearing.
- House Bill 1606 – Concerning the correction of culverts. The House Environment and Energy Committee heard this bill on Friday, Jan. 28. I am hopeful it will move out of this committee and onto the House floor for a full chamber vote. I will keep you posted on the progress.
- House Bill 2049 – Encouraging construction of affordable housing by eliminating redundancies and streamlining the permitting process. The House Local Government Committee has not scheduled this bill for a public hearing.
- House Bill 2066 – Concerning exemptions for infill development under the state environmental policy act (SEPA). The House Environment and Energy Committee has not scheduled this bill for a public hearing.
- House Bill 1232 – Planning for affordable housing under the Growth Management Act (GMA). This bill is a carryover from 2021. The House Local Government Committee heard this bill on Tuesday, Jan. 18. I am hopeful it will move out of this committee and onto the House floor for a full chamber vote. I will keep you posted on the progress.
Please click here for more details and a status update on all the bills I have sponsored and co-sponsored this session.
Real solutions that improve outcomes for all
House Republicans spent the interim interacting with constituents, meeting with stakeholders, and developing solutions to make communities safer, provide meaningful tax relief, hold state government accountable, and ensure parents have more of a say in their children's education.
The first three weeks of session have seen Democrats retreating and attempting to fix problems they created in previous years. We believe Washingtonians deserve real solutions to the growing number of issues facing our state. Real solutions are rooted in principle, time-tested, and backed by evidence.
As we begin to transition from our policy discussions in committee to debating and voting on the House floor, your priorities are our priorities, and we are boldly fighting for real solutions that improve outcomes for all.
- Priority: Providing tax relief and making life more affordable for all Washingtonians
- Priority: Holding state government accountable, improving outcomes, and enacting emergency powers reform
- Priority: Strengthening communities by making public safety a priority and supporting effective community policing
- Priority: Empowering parents by providing transparency and the necessary financial and educational flexibility to help their children succeed in school and life
Please click here for more information on our priorities and a complete list and description of our bills.
Resources and important links
I hope you will bookmark and save the links below.
- Visit my website | Representative Andrew Barkis
- Follow me on Facebook | State Representative Andrew Barkis
- Visit the Washington State House Republican website
- Follow Washington State House Republicans on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and SoundCloud
- NEW! Sign-up for text alerts from Washington State House Republicans | We are trying something new this year. Our text alert system allows you to sign-up for text alerts as another way to stay updated on what's happening in the Legislature.
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.
It is an honor to serve you.