The 2023 Legislative Session begins on January 9th and the regular session lasts 105 days; ending on April 24th. After the Elections, the legislative caucuses meet to elect leadership, discuss the upcoming session, and begin to assign committees. This year, there were some changes for the 20th Legislative District delegation.
Senator John Braun will continue to serve as the Republican Leader in the State Senate. He will also serve on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs Committees. Constituents can contact Senator Braun by visiting www.SenatorJohnBraun.org, E-mailing [email protected], or call (360) 786-7638.
Representative Ed Orcutt will continue serving as the Ranking Member on the House Finance Committee and as a member of both the House Rural Development Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and the House Transportation Committee. Constituents can contact Representative Ed Orcutt by visiting www.RepresentativeEdOrcutt.com, E-mailing [email protected], or call (360) 786-7990.
For myself, I will begin serving in the House Republican Leadership as the Assistant House Floor Leader. I will continue my role as Assistant Ranking Member on the House Capital Budget Committee and member of the House Environment and Energy Committee. Another new role for me will be the Ranking Member on the State Government and Tribal Relations Committee. I can be reached in Olympia at the Capitol by visiting www.RepresentativePeterAbbarno.com, E-mailing [email protected], or calling (360) 786-7896.
Every returning legislator has the opportunity to pre-file legislation in December prior to returning the new legislative session, which I did for four (4) pieces of legislation. Those bills include:
House Bill 1005, 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.
House Bill 1014 would provide a new grant funding source for rural fire departments whose buildings and equipment are inadequate to meet the fire safety needs of their communities.
House Bill 1004, also known as “Zack’s Law,” seeks to prevent cold-water shock drownings through signage at bridges and along waterways throughout Washington state. House Bill 1044 is named in honor of 18-year-old Zachary Lee Rager, an experienced swimmer who fell victim to cold-water shock and drowned in the Chehalis River on March 23, 2021.
You can learn more about these pre-filed bills, committee hearings, and updates by visiting my legislative website at www.RepresentativePeterAbbarno.com. The 2023 Legislative Session will be in-person for visitors and constituents to watch, testify, and participate. Some virtual testimony and participation will still be available by visiting www.Leg.Wa.Gov. And, you can watch all the action on www.TVW.org.
I strongly believe government works best when it is open and your representatives accessible. During session, the 20th legislative district delegation will continue to host monthly legislative updates for the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce and encourage you to join. For more information, contact the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce at www.Chamberway or call (360) 748-8885.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am honored to serve you in the Legislature and look forward to working with you to make our communities better places to live.