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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We've nearly completed the second week of the 2023 session. It's an honor to be in Olympia representing the people, values, and way of life of the 8th District.

It's taken a few days to get my legislative updates up and running. However, throughout the rest of the 105-day session, I'll be sending information on a regular basis on the activities and events taking place in Olympia. Be sure to check my website periodically for up-to-date news releases and policy statements, or click here to watch my first video update from the state Capitol.

2023 Session

We kicked off the legislative session on Monday, Jan. 9, starting at noon. During the opening day ceremonies, the first to be held in person in more than two years, the public galleries were filled with family, friends, and supporters. Along with my fellow lawmakers, we walked side-by-side into the chambers to be sworn into office. It was truly amazing to be a part of the proceedings.

Now the real work begins

For the next several weeks, lawmakers will consider, debate, and vote on the state's new two-year operating, transportation, and capital budgets.

Along with building those budgets, we'll also tackle several of the tough public policy issues facing our state. Those issues include ongoing economic uncertainty, public safety concerns, chronic homelessness, and an inflation rate that has reached its highest level since 1981 — with price spikes for basic necessities like gas, food, and rent especially high.

Click here to learn more about the real solutions my colleagues and I are offering to combat these issues.

Committee Assignments

To be appointed assistant ranking member as a freshman legislator is a great honor. That's why I was extremely pleased to be selected by my colleagues to serve as the assistant ranking member of the House Innovation, Community and Economic Development, and Veterans Committee.

I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve in this leadership role. Without question, helping lead this committee gives me a unique opportunity to advocate for a wide range of community and business interests. It's a good fit for our region's priorities.

In addition, I'll serve on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. As viral illnesses like COVID continue to cause problems for our short-staffed health care facilities, it's critical that we find the best solutions for our region and state. Reliable, affordable, and effective health care for our citizens, including the elderly and very young, should be prioritized. I'm looking forward to contributing to the work of this committee.

I've also been asked to serve on two other committees. Being a member of the House Environment and Energy Committee gives me an opportunity to advocate for a strong energy industry. Clean renewable energy, like the energy produced by the Snake River dams, needs to be protected. I'm eager to get started on this important committee.

And finally, I've been selected as a member of the House Finance Committee. This will allow me to be a part of the committee that considers the many facets of our state's financial resources, including taxes.

8th District Virtual Town Hall

As we begin the session, it's important that I hear from you about the priorities and issues facing our communities.

That's why, along with Sen. Matt Boehnke and Rep. April Connors, I'll be hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday, Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The hour-long event is a great opportunity for you to join us from the comfort of your home or office by simply logging onto your computer for an hour of conversation about the session. We'll discuss our bills and listen to your comments and ideas about state government.

Space is limited, so register early. If you are unable to attend, don't hesitate to reach out to my office and schedule an appointment. My contact information is listed below.

Redistricting changes for the 8th District

Because communities and populations change over time, every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, Washington state redraws the boundaries of its congressional and legislative districts to ensure that each district represents an equal number of residents.

The new 8th Legislative District boundaries were approved in 2022 by the Washington State Redistricting Commission.

  • Click here to view a map of the 8th Legislative District.
  • You can learn more about the redistricting process in this video.

Want to get involved?

Consider bookmarking the following links:

Watch legislative proceedings

To watch House and Senate committee hearings, floor sessions, and other legislative business, go to tvw.org.

Bill finder

Click here to track the status of a bill. After entering a bill number, you can read the text of a bill, see the sponsors, the bill's history, and its status in both legislative chambers.

Remote Testimony

You can sign up to testify remotely if you are unable to attend a committee hearing on a bill in Olympia. You may also submit written testimony to a committee and get your position on a bill noted for the legislative record. Click here to learn more about participating in the process.

2023 Legislative calendar

The session opened on Jan. 9 and must adjourn by April 23. To see the session cutoff calendar, click here.

Thank you!

I am committed to staying connected with you as the session progresses. Feel free to contact me if you have questions, concerns, or ideas regarding your state government.

It's an honor to serve you!


Stephanie Barnard

State Representative Stephanie Barnard, 8th Legislative District
469 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7986 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000