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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We’re just days away from the first significant deadline for the 2023 session.

Policy cutoff is this Friday, Feb. 17. It’s the last day policy committees can consider and approve bills in the chamber in which those measures originated.

Bills in fiscal committees get a bit more time: Fiscal committee cutoff is a week later on Friday, Feb. 24.

Why that’s important: Failure to act on, hear, or approve a legislative proposal in committee effectively kills the bill. That means policy bills not approved in their respective committees will be considered “dead” for the rest of the session.

As the clock winds down, the bills listed below need your support. Each description contains information and links you can use to help get those bills through the next step of the legislative process before the cutoff deadline!

The Oakley Carlson Act, House Bill 1397, would create more stringent requirements for children to be returned to their birth parents who have lost custody.

Why it matters: Oakley Carlson vanished after being removed from her loving foster parents and returned to her troubled birth parents. Five-year-old Oakley was last seen alive on Feb. 10, 2021. Her case has raised serious questions about the effectiveness of our state’s child welfare policies and bureaucracies.

My bill outlines several changes to protect children removed from a parent because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Current status: House Bill 1397 has been scheduled for a public hearing on Friday, Feb. 17, at 8:00 a.m.

How you can support the Oakley Carlson Act:

Another bill I’ve sponsored, House Bill 1788, would restore more control to parents over how their minor children access health care.

This bill has yet to receive a public hearing! Consider supporting this measure by doing the following:

  • Comment on the bill;
  • Send an email urging the chair of the Health Care and Wellness Committee to schedule a public hearing.

House Bill 1037 would allow family burial grounds on privately owned land. This proposal seeks to change the state’s current regulation, which requires all burials to be done by registered cemetery corporations “unless otherwise limited by the law.”

Why it matters: The bill was first brought to me by tribal members in the 19th District and is an important part of allowing people the right to use their private land for such an intimate and personal family ritual.

I’m happy to report this bill has recently been approved in committee and put on the floor calendar — where it waits its turn to be heard and decided on the House floor.

Click here or below to watch my recent video update on these bills and more.

Need more info?

Thank you!

Contact my Olympia office whenever you have questions, comments, or ideas about state government. I’m always happy to hear from you!


Jim Walsh

State Representative Jim Walsh, 19th Legislative District
428 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7806 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000