Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's officially spring! The rain is beginning to subside, and the sun is becoming a more permanent presence in our days. It's a welcome change. And now that life has mostly returned to normal after our days under the dark cloud of the pandemic, I hope you and your family can get out of the house, get some fresh air, and enjoy this great state we are fortunate to call home.
Since the Legislature adjourned on March 10, I've had the chance to get out into the 2nd District, and it sure feels good to be back and visit with you again! I'll give you a quick rundown of what's been going on and what's to come in this email update.
2022 Legislative Session Review
I believe in the importance of keeping you up to date on what's happening under the dome in Olympia. If you have not received your 2022 Legislative Session Review newsletter, it should be hitting your mailbox soon.
You can also read the digital version by clicking here.
Another great resource to learn more about my work and priorities is my website RepresentativeAndrewBarkis.com. Here you can read my news releases, watch all the episodes of the Barkis Breakdown, find and listen to my radio interviews, catch up on the e-newsletters you might have missed, see all my sponsored bills, and find my contact information.
If you'd like more information on the issues that matter most to you, your families, and your businesses, please click here.
End of session wrap-up
The 2022 session brought many hits and misses. Here are a few highlights.
- As a co-sponsor of House Bill 1785, we ensured Washington State Patrol troopers and sergeants are paid comparable wages to top law enforcement agencies in the state.
- We provided clarification and definitions for our law enforcement professionals as minor fixes to the flawed police reform bills of 2021 through House Bills 1719, 1735, and 2037.
- We established programs and measures to prevent suicide among veterans and military members through House Bill 1181.
- We passed a bipartisan supplemental capital budget providing more than $1.5 billion in public works projects statewide, including nearly $10 million in additional funding for the 2nd District.
A few disappointments:
- There was no movement to reduce the governor's emergency powers authority. Two bills were introduced to restore balance and trust in state government – House Bill 1772 and Senate Bill 5909. Unfortunately, neither bill was passed during the 2022 session.
- Despite a historic $15 billion surplus, there was no meaningful tax relief, including a one-time sales tax holiday. Plus, the supplemental operating budget is the largest in state history.
- There was a lack of bipartisanship and working across the aisle to enact policy that affects everyone in our state. The $17 billion transportation package is partisan, raises fees on all Washingtonians, and ignores many parts of our state.
For more highlights on my session priorities (transportation and housing), please watch the latest edition of “The Barkis Breakdown.” Simply click on the photo below. You can also visit my YouTube channel for all my video highlights.
What's next? | Election-year restrictions
I'm heading into an election-year cycle which means my legislative communications will be put under what's known as an election-year freeze beginning Monday, May 16. This freeze on my communications will lift once the Secretary of State certifies the election at the end of November.
It's important to note that the freeze does not restrict me from responding to your emails, phone calls, and messages. I'm also not restricted from having in-person meetings with you, so please continue to reach out to me as you normally would.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is (360) 786-7824.
It's an honor to serve you!