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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We’re one month into the scheduled 105-day legislative session. It’s been a busy few weeks. With over 1,500 House and Senate bills introduced, including several on top statewide concerns — it’s more important than ever that I hear from you.

That’s why I’d like to share a friendly reminder to register for my upcoming 8th District Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Matt Boehnke, Rep. April Connors, and I are co-hosting this districtwide online event. During the hour-long town hall, we’ll answer your questions about the bills, debates, and decisions happening in Olympia.

If you aren’t able to attend, don’t worry. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be announcing details for in-person town halls happening in mid-March.

Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology

People in our region are energy savvy. They know advanced nuclear reactor technology is not only price competitive with other renewables — it’s also clean, dependable, and dispatchable.

The first bill I introduced this session helps expand this important energy resource.

When developing the state’s strategic energy goals, House Bill 1584 would require advanced nuclear reactor technology to be considered, along with other carbon-neutral energy alternatives.

The Department of Commerce would also be directed to maximize federal and other non-state funding to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, emerging energy technologies, and other activities of benefit the state’s overall energy future.

If Washington state plans to meet its ambitious decarbonization goals, including the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) goal of 100% clean energy by 2045, then nuclear energy needs to be part of the solution.

As a member of the House Environment and Energy Committee and a long-standing supporter of advanced nuclear reactor technology, I’m excited to see this bill advance through the legislative process.

House Bill 1584 has been scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

  • Comment directly on House Bill 1584.
  • Register to testify in person or remotely.
  • Learn how to take part in the legislative process.

Federal Funding Opportunities

Another bill I’m sponsoring, House Bill 1767, would help our state take advantage of federal grant opportunities.

This simple, straightforward bill strengthens the role of the Department of Commerce when monitoring or providing technical assistance on federal grant proposals.

My bill has been scheduled for a public hearing this week, on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

For a complete list of the bills I’m sponsoring or co-sponsoring, click here.

Nuclear Energy Caucus

On the 4th Tuesday of every month, I co-host a bipartisan group of lawmakers interested in new and existing nuclear technology. The Nuclear Energy Caucus is focused on achieving CETA decarbonization goals safely and responsibly with reliable, clean, baseload generation.

Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more about the important work of this caucus in the weeks to come.

Police Pursuit Reform

Police pursuit has been in the headlines since the law was changed in 2021. Under the current law, a police officer may only initiate a vehicle pursuit if the officer has reasonable suspicion of a DUI or probable cause for a violent crime or sex crime. 

That change in the law has emboldened criminals — including a dramatic uptick in drivers fleeing traffic stops. Car theft has also skyrocketed. According to the Washington State Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), vehicle thefts have increased 88 percent year-to-date for 2022 compared to 2021.

Because of those problems, there has been a bipartisan push to make the law regarding police pursuits more balanced.

  • House Bill 1363 would restore the threshold to begin a vehicle pursuit to reasonable suspicion that a crime has or is being committed — and allow police agencies to set their own pursuit policies.
  • The bipartisan measure received a public hearing a few days ago and has been scheduled for a committee vote on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Community Safety, Justice and Reentry Committee.

Another measure, House Bill 1586, offered by the majority party, would direct the Criminal Justice Training Commission to do a study on police pursuits without fixing the law. I strongly disagree with that approach.

We need to let common sense be our guide and restore law enforcement’s ability to pursue criminals.

  • Comment directly on the bipartisan solution for police pursuit, House Bill 1363.
  • Learn more about how the majority party’s police reforms have made communities less safe.

Watch a recent video update on my proposed bills and much-needed police pursuit reform:

Remote Testimony

Remote testimony has been a game-changer for our region. Instead of traveling long hours on unsafe, wintery roads to testify before legislative committees, you can open your laptop and share your support or opposition to bills being debated in Olympia.

To learn more about how to testify remotely, click here. If you need additional help, feel free to call my office. I’m happy to help. 

Thank you!

Please contact me if you have questions about the legislative process, bills, or important issues facing our communities and state.

It’s an honor to serve you!

Sincerely,


Stephanie Barnard

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