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Dear Neighbor,

Happy Hanukkah! I’d like to wish our Jewish friends and neighbors a season filled with peace, joy, and family.

In recent months, we’ve seen an ugly rise of antisemitism both nationally and here at home in Washington state. We must stand together as a community against this ancient hatred and protect the basic rights of every person in Washington.      

Committee Assembly Days

Last Monday and Tuesday, legislators met in Olympia for committee meetings ahead of the 2024 legislative session, which is scheduled to convene on Jan. 8.

As the new ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee, I’ll be the lead Republican negotiator on the state’s construction budget. In 2024, my top priorities will include school construction, housing, and infrastructure.

Too often, the infrastructure needs of rural Washington are neglected. I’ll be working with both sides of the aisle to bridge the funding gap between property rich and property poor districts.  

House Capital Budget committee – Dec. 5, 2023

You can watch the Dec. 5 House Capital Budget Committee meeting by clicking here.

Thank you for taking my fall legislative survey

A huge thank you to the hundreds of folks who filled out my fall 2023 legislative survey. Your feedback is invaluable – it will help me make informed decisions during the upcoming legislative session about your priorities.

You can view the final survey results below or by clicking here:

A crime wave in Washington state

In October, the FBI released its annual report on crime statistics for all 50 states. Sadly, the 2022 data confirms what too many Washingtonians already knew: Washington state is suffering from a crime wave.

Last year saw a 12% increase in violent crime and a 10.6% increase in property crime. Between 2020-22, robbery is up nearly 29% and the murder rate doubled between 2019-2022.

For several years, we’ve seen a pattern from the majority party in the House of prioritizing criminals over victims.

House Democrats introduced the following bad bills in 2023 alone:

  • House Bill 1024 would require an incarcerated person participating in a Correctional Industries work program be paid no less than the state minimum wage. Died.
  • House Bill 1025 would allow police officers to be sued personally while doing their jobs protecting our communities. Died.
  • House Bill 1169 would eliminate criminals having to pay a penalty to fund services for victims of crimes and shift these costs to taxpayers. Signed into law on May 15, 2023.
  • House Bill 1174 would require each city, county and tribal jail to establish a “Jail Voting Plan” to provide resources to help incarcerated individuals vote. Died.
  • House Bill 1189 would allow the release of incarcerated individuals prior to the expiration of a sentence. Died.
  • House Bill 1268 would reduce penalties for certain drug and gang related crimes. Died.
  • House Bill 1513 would prohibit law enforcement from stopping drivers committing certain violations, including nonmoving violations, certain suspended or revoked licenses, or certain misdemeanor warrants, and would require written consent of the driver and passengers to search a vehicle. Died.

In 2024, we must put victims first and make our communities safe again. Regardless of where you live in Washington, you deserve to feel safe in your community.

How 20th District constituents can be involved in the upcoming legislative session

I recently joined my seatmates, Rep. Ed Orcutt and Sen. John Braun, in sending out a postcard to constituents of the 20th District. In the piece, which you can find below, we provide websites, phone numbers and other information on how people can be involved in the 2024 legislative session.

We also shared our legislative priorities and welcomed constituent letters, emails, phone calls, and requests to meet in person.

I work for you year-round

I work for you all year. Please call, write, or email me if you have questions, comments or suggestions about government. I am here to serve and represent you!

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to be your voice in Olympia.


Peter Abbarno

State Representative Peter Abbarno, 20th Legislative District
411 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7896 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000