2022 legislative session •
We are about a third of the way through the 60-day legislative session. The first three weeks have seen Democrats retreating and attempting to fix problems they created in previous years. This includes two House bills relating to the troubled long-term care insurance program, which I discussed last week. They were fast-tracked through the Senate this week and signed into law by the governor yesterday.
Democrats punted on making hard decisions this year, but the underlying problems with the program remain. These problems aren’t going away and will be front and center again in the 2023 legislative session. You can stay updated by visiting this web page.
The second problem Democrats are attempting to fix relates to policing. Last year, they pushed through two measures — House Bills 1310 and 1054 — that took options away from law enforcement, caused confusion, and had disastrous consequences for communities. The media has done a great job covering these stories, including one today on the dramatic rise in car thefts due to the new limits on police pursuits.
While sponsors of the legislation acknowledged there were problems, unfortunately the majority party ignored calls for a special session to do something about them. We will find out in the upcoming days if Democrats have the votes to restore the tactics and tools police officers need to help keep communities safe. Please stay tuned.
Republican Safe Washington Plan
Public safety has been a legislative priority for House Republicans for years. That should not be a surprise to anyone. We have introduced a comprehensive package of legislation that we believe addresses many of the concerns we are hearing from constituents, communities, and law enforcement.
The Republican Safe Washington Plan, unveiled at a news conference with the Senate, is focused on preventing crime, supporting law enforcement, putting victims first, and addressing the State v. Blake decision.
Here are five bills I’d like to highlight:
- House Bill 1737, along with its companion Senate Bill 5569, would roll back the harmful provisions in last year’s legislation and provide balance to policing. Neither bill has received a public hearing.
- House Bill 1788, sponsored by Rep. Eric Robertson, would allow law enforcement to engage in vehicle pursuits when there is reasonable suspicion someone has committed, or is committing, a criminal offense. The legislation received a public hearing and is scheduled for executive action next week.
- House Bill 1656 would amend the definition of theft and help struggling retailers. Rep. Dan Griffey has been working on this concept for a long time. This recent story features his legislation. The measure received a public hearing and is scheduled for executive action next week.
- House Bill 1787 would provide funding for the recruitment, retention, and support of law enforcement. It has not received a public hearing.
- House Bill 1873 would address the growing problem of catalytic converter theft. It, too, has not received a public hearing.
Emergency powers reform | House Bill 1772
House Republicans have pushed for emergency powers reform since 2020. This web page highlights what we have done and continue to do.
Rep. Chris Corry introduced emergency powers reform legislation this year that would restore balance and trust in state government. It is the bill we would want if there was a Republican Speaker of the House and a Republican governor. You can learn more in this news release.
House Bill 1772 will receive a public hearing in the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. We hope supporters will let their voices be heard. You can share your views on this legislation remotely by:
- Clicking on this link.
- Selecting “State Government & Tribal Relations” and “01/31/22 1:30 PM”
- Checking “HB 1772 Gubernatorial proclamations”
- Selecting type of testimony
Sign up for House Republican text alerts
Our caucus is trying something new this year: Text alerts. The system allows people to sign up for text alerts and opt out at any time. It is yet another way for us to keep you updated on what’s happening in the Legislature. Please consider signing up at this platform.
Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader