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State medical association names King ‘Legislator of the Year’

Published on September 24, 2014

Sen. Curtis King’s work to protect young people from skin cancer has made him the Washington State Medical Association’s 2014 Legislator of the Year. Dr. Dale Reisner, association president, presented King, R-Yakima, with the honor at the WSMA annual meeting Saturday.

Earlier this year King shepherded Senate Bill 6065, which prohibits those younger than 18 from using tanning beds, through the legislative process. The new law, which took effect in mid-June, is aimed at reducing cases of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Read more…


New Energy for Washington: How much could carbon pricing scheme cost WA families?

Published on September 23, 2014

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Senate Republican leader says $600,000 splurge on DSHS staff workshops shows contempt for taxpayers

Published on August 28, 2014

Sen. Mark SchoeslerSenate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler today offered the following response to a Seattle radio report that a division of the state Department of Social and Health Services is spending an estimated $600,000 to put on staff workshops in Tacoma.

“The Community Services Division can’t get a handle on the fraud and abuse involving the EBT cards it issues, yet it has no problem bringing thousands of its employees from around the state to a convention center – just so they can spend two days getting ‘engaged’ with their work, at taxpayer expense.

“If DSHS has 600 thousand dollars to splurge on staff workshops, its managers might want to think twice about the requests they bring before our legislative budget committees this next year. And how exactly does this help preserve the state’s ‘safety net,’ which is what people are always asking the Legislature to do?

“The division director indicated these workshops are focused on helping managers communicate the agency mission and vision and goals to their employees. In this day and age, with all the technology that is available to save time and money, it’s hard to understand why DSHS can’t use basic tools like e-mail and webcasting – or even traditional staff meetings – to accomplish that. If this is what the governor meant when he talked about bringing ‘lean management’ to Olympia, it doesn’t seem to be working.”

Schoesler, R-Ritzville, also is a member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.


King pleased by tentative agreement that should allow grain inspections to resume at Vancouver port

Published on August 12, 2014

wheat fieldSen. Curtis King, R-Yakima and co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, made this statement regarding the tentative agreement reached today between United Grain Corporation in Vancouver and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

“The end of these protracted negotiations is good news for working families across Washington. I’m glad that cooler heads prevailed and these two parties were able to reach a compromise. Grain growers in my legislative district, across central and eastern Washington and even those outside our state can continue to bolster our state’s economy without concern that our export partners will find a more dependable source for the products they need.

“I am hearing that grain inspections will resume at noon today and the backlog of ships waiting to berth will be expedited. It will take two weeks to ratify the agreement, but I’m pleased both parties are eager to get Washington’s economy back on track.”


The Columbian: Public needs voice in carbon debate

Published on August 4, 2014


Local View: Public needs voice in carbon debate

By Sen. Ann Rivers | Published: August 3, 2014, 6:00 AMSen. Ann Rivers


There’s enough chatter at the Capitol about a pair of climate-change policies — familiar but complex proposals known as “cap-and-trade” and “low-carbon fuel standards” — that it’s time to ask: What do these confusing and complicated discussions mean for the average Washington resident?


Both cap-and-trade and LCFS deal with controlling the production of carbon. The two main sources of carbon emissions are motor vehicles and power plants that generate electricity.


Washington is already a low-carbon place — especially when compared to a carbon giant such as China, which produces around 8,000 million metric tons annually compared to Washington’s 96 million. And while China’s carbon emissions are on the rise, Washington continues to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint without layering on new costly and intrusive regulations.


That said, we need to have these discussions if Washington wants to be a leader in energy. Last year, a bipartisan group of legislators joined to form the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup to begin studying climate policy and its effect on family budgets and job creation.


One study shows that cap-and-trade could ultimately cost each Washington household upwards of $8,200 in disposable income per year and eliminate up to 82,000 jobs.

Read more…