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We're hitting several key bill deadlines as we head into the midway point of the 2023 legislative session. Last Friday, Feb. 17, was policy committee cutoff. That's the deadline for policy bills to pass out of committee in the chamber (House or Senate) where they were introduced. That means many good bills are now considered “dead” for the year, including bills to reform the governor's emergency powers, House Bill 1535; repeal the unpopular and unsustainable long-term care program and payroll tax, House Bill 1011; make hard drugs illegal, House Bill 1415; and many more.
Click here to view the 2023 House Republican list of good and bad bills.
Tomorrow, Feb. 24, is the fiscal house of origin cutoff. Like policy committee cutoff, that's the deadline for fiscal bills to advance from their first committee of referral in the chamber they were introduced.
You can view the session cutoff calendar here.
Zack's Law update
The House Rules Committee on Wednesday placed Zack's Law (House Bill 1004) onto the suspension calendar. That's the House's list of noncontroversial bills expected to come up for a floor vote soon. Stay tuned for future updates on this bill.
Background: Zack's Law honors 18-year-old Zachary Lee Rager, who fell victim to cold-water shock and drowned in the Chehalis River on March 23, 2021. I am sponsoring this bill to help inform the public about the very real dangers posed by diving or jumping into cold water. If this measure saves even a single life, then I believe it's worth passing.
Helping Veterans, military members and their families get jobs
On Feb. 16, the House Finance Committee unanimously passed House Bill 1005.
I sponsored this legislation to create work opportunities for military members, veterans and their families.
The bill would double the existing business and occupation tax credit for employers who hire a veteran, spouse of a veteran, or spouse of an active-duty military member and employ them in a full-time position for at least two consecutive full-calendar quarters.
The existing program is set to expire on July 1 of this year. House Bill 1005 would extend the program 11 years – until July 1, 2034.
The bill is now in the House Rules Committee where it's waiting to be pulled for a full floor vote.
Making Washington an international hydrogen hub
On Thursday, the House Finance Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 1729, my bill to create and expand tax incentives for developing and selling hydrogen fuel products.
This bill would greatly enhance the opportunity for Washington to become a hydrogen hub. Other states have already adopted similar strategies. But Washington is in an exciting and unique position to compete on the national and international stage in this industry.
A diverse energy portfolio is about security and reliability for residential and commercial users. Hydrogen is an emerging source of transportation fuel, manufacturing energy, and other possibilities. There is substantial private and public investment in hydrogen, and the 20th Legislative District and Washington state are positioned to be the recipients of those investments.
Our 2023 legislative survey
Here are the results of our 2023 legislative survey (so far):
I plan to hold the survey open throughout the 2023 session. If you haven't participated yet, I encourage you to take it and let me know what you think about the issues facing the Legislature.
Click here to take the survey.
Share your Stories
As always, I invite you to contact me at Peter.Abbarno@Leg.Wa.Gov and share your stories with me about how inflation is impacting your family budget, how crime is impacting your neighborhoods, and how recent state policies are making it more difficult to live, work, and enjoy everything Washington has to offer. Just share your first name and city, and I will be sure to share your stories with others.
In the media
- Amid Inslee's $4 Billion Proposal, State Republican Lawmakers Discuss Housing and Homelessness – The Chronicle, Feb. 20
- Capitol Report with Rep. Abbarno: Survey results and updates on legislation – HRC, Feb. 17
- WA lawmakers could make Lunar New Year an official state holiday – The Seattle Times, Feb. 17
- Eastern Washington could get its own landscape feature on Capitol Campus – The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 16
- Capitol Report with Rep. Abbarno: Updates on important bills – HRC, Feb. 10
- Abbarno Urges Committee to Hold Hearing on Emergency Powers Reform Bill – The Chronicle, Feb. 9
- Rep. Peter Abbarno explains how to get involved in the legislative process – HRC, Feb. 7
Your involvement is crucial!
The House Republican Caucus put together this step-by-step guide on how to participate in the legislative process here: Participating in the Legislative Process.
You can also use the Legislature's official guide on how to comment on a bill, give your position, submit written testimony, or sign up for public testimony, remote or in-person here: Participating in the Process
To learn more about citizen participation, we have set up a page with all the necessary information: How you can be involved in the legislative process.
Finally, you can find news releases, email updates, videos and radio reports highlighting the good and bad bills throughout the 2023 session on my website at RepresentativePeterAbbarno.com.
Please contact my office if you have questions or comments on legislation that you would like directed to me. My contact information is at the bottom of this email update.
Stay involved and in touch!
As your elected officials, we are here to represent you. That means your involvement and input are critical to the process. Please call, write, or email me if you have questions, comments or suggestions about legislation, committee hearings, the legislative process or state government. I am here to serve and represent you!
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to be your voice during the 2023 legislative session.
411 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7896 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000