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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2023 legislative session started on January 9. This was the first time since 2020 that opening ceremonies, which include the swearing-in of state lawmakers, were open to family, friends, all staff, and the public. It is always a special day, especially for newly elected members, and it’s good to return to a fully-accessible Capitol Campus.

As House Republican Leader, part of my responsibilities include participating in pre-session forums, meeting with editorial boards, providing opening-day remarks, and hosting news conferences. I also record a weekly video. If you would like to watch some of these events and appearances from the last two weeks, you can find them below:

You can also watch my opening remarks at the 2023 Legislative Preview below.

House Republican priorities

While last year’s legislative session was one of missed opportunities, it is useless to dwell on the past. Instead, we must look forward and take advantage of any opportunities that exist this legislative session to work with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to solve the growing number of problems facing our state. It is also always our duty to vigorously oppose bad or unconstitutional efforts.

As always, House Republicans have developed policies — real solutions, we call them — to address these problems and help make life better for Washington families. My colleague, Rep. Peter Abbarno of the 20th District, outlined our House Republican priorities in his Republican perspective on Gov. Inslee’s State of the State address. I asked Peter to deliver this speech and he did a great job.

This legislative session, we will be focused on four priorities:

  • Reducing your cost of living
  • Making communities safer
  • Fixing our housing crisis
  • Empowering all families

I will share more details on these priorities, including bill numbers and explanations, in future email updates.

These aren’t the only issues I will be focused on. State lawmakers must consider all kinds of bills and amendments, with every piece of legislation meaning something to someone. I will also be working to pass responsible state budgets, address workforce issues, protect constitutional rights, and hold Democrats and the governor accountable for their actions and results.

My opposition to a new international airport in rural Pierce County or Thurston County

If you missed my last email update, I talked about my opposition to a new international airport in rural Pierce County or Thurston County. I also discussed my concerns in this video.

On January 9, the House Transportation Committee held a work session related to this issue and a Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission update. Chairman Willie Frank III of the Nisqually Indian Tribe testified that the three sites being examined currently would impact tribal treaty rights. Thurston County Manager Ramiro Chavez and Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier also testified against those locations.

For a new airport to be located, there needs to be a local government sponsor willing to create a master plan and submit it to the Federal Aviation Administration. But there is little support for the findings so far. More work needs to be done to find alternative sites. I will continue to monitor this issue closely and report to you on it.

You can watch the work session here (TVW link) and find more materials at this webpage.

Staying in touch

I encourage you to follow the Washington House Republicans on Twitter and Facebook. I also recommend you bookmark my legislative website and our caucus legislative news aggregator, The Ledger. You will find all kinds of information and content on these platforms. Here are some other helpful links:

I hope you find these email updates interesting and informative. However, I respect your time. If for any reason you want to unsubscribe, you can do so below.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My email address is jt.wilcox@leg.wa.gov, and my office number is (360) 786-7912.

It is an honor to serve you and our communities.


J.T. Wilcox

State Representative J.T. Wilcox, 2nd Legislative District
122A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7912 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000