Dear friends and neighbors, 

Welcome to week three of the legislative session! We’ve got just about a week and a half left before our first deadline of the session—Jan. 31. That’s when policy bills will need to make it through their committee of origin. After Jan. 31, much of the action will happen on the floor.  

Coming up 

One of my bills that seeks to make school districts more efficient has a public hearing in committee Thursday. Of the 295 districts in the state, more than two-thirds serve fewer than 2,000 students and more than half of them serve fewer than 1,000 students. The vast majority have their own transportation and food service, school board, administration, etc.  

Some of those districts’ superintendents have salaries that exceed that of the governor or the state Superintendent of Public Instruction—nearing or above $300,000. If some of our smaller districts combined services with larger neighboring districts, we could direct more money into our classrooms.  

We’ve seen districts throughout our region consolidating or closing schools. This is different; we’re not talking about closing schools or moving students to different schools.  

The bill would establish a commission to review school district and educational service district operations and administration—with the goal of increasing equality in our schools and directing more funds to the classroom. The commission is directed to recommend a reduction in the number of school districts to 150. However, it cannot recommend closing or consolidating any schools. 

Combining those districts could even mean access to more services for students from smaller districts. For example, if a small rural district combines with a bigger neighboring district, it might allow students to access more extracurricular activities or more Advanced Placement classes.  

Updates on other bills 

My “bill of rights” for seniors in independent living passed off the Senate floor last week with unanimous support. 

People who live in licensed long-term care facilities have legal resident rights, as well as protection and oversight from the Department of Social and Health Services and Adult Protective Services. They also have access to the Washington State Long-term Care Ombudsman program, which is required to protect and promote the rights, safety and welfare of those living in licensed long-term care facilities across the state. However, the independent-living folks are not currently defined as “residents,” and are not afforded the same protections. 

My bill seeks to bring parity to these different kinds of residents. The legislation would establish a work group to develop a bill of rights for “non-residents” in assisted-living facilities to resolve disputes over services. 

Save the date!  

I’d like to invite you to our District 22 virtual town hall on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.  

We’ll stream the town hall live on my Facebook page.  

Bring your questions about the legislative session! The more we hear from you, the better we can do our jobs.  

Please submit questions here. You’ll also be able to submit questions in the comment section of the stream.

How you can get involved this session  

I got to meet with students from WSU this week. I love hearing from young people about issues important to them. GO COUGS!

  • Learn how the legislative process works here.     
  • Find legislation here.   
  • Watch committee hearings, floor debates and more on TVW.     
  • Testify in committee hearings in person or remotely by signing up here. See what’s going on each day by checking out the Legislature’s calendar.   
  • Reach out to my office anytime at 360-786-7642 or You can also follow along for more legislative updates on my official Facebook page.  


Sam Hunt