Repeal of Seattle jobs tax makes a statewide ban simpler

The rapid demise of the Seattle jobs tax doesn’t change the need for the bill I’d drafted that would clearly prohibit a tax on jobs (or a “head tax”) unless the necessary taxing authority is explicitly granted by the Legislature. My bill is still needed because the Seattle City Council’s turnaround was not due to […]

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The ‘Olympia Games’: Quantity doesn’t mean quality

I’m not a big watcher of the winter Olympic Games, which are upon us again, but I do know that most of the events are scored or judged in terms of more points and less time elapsed. Here at the winter Olympia Games, the Senate’s new majority hopes to score points by saying it has […]

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Families across Washington win with deal on water-rights, capital budget

OLYMPIA…Marking the end of long and arduous negotiations, the Legislature today passed a bipartisan, bicameral solution to the Hirst water-rights decision, clearing the way for families to get permits to dig household wells and gain access to water. It also passed a capital budget worth more than $4 billion, including the bonds necessary to pay […]

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Senate Republican leaders offer condolences amid Amtrak tragedy in Pierce County

Sen. Randi Becker, R-Pierce County, who serves as the Senate Republican Caucus Chair, and Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler offered their condolences to victims of the Amtrak train derailment. “We are praying for the victims, families and all those involved in this tragedy,” said Becker. “I am thankful for the fast, robust response from our […]

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Senate Republican Caucus announces 2018 committee appointments

 The Senate Republican Caucus today announced its appointments to the 2018 Senate committees.   “Our members are anxious to get the session started and will continue to serve everyone in Washington with dedication and integrity,” said Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville.   “I’m always proud and impressed by their level of commitment when tackling […]

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Bipartisan coalition returns to roots as ‘Senate Republican Caucus’

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus today returned to being the Senate Republican Caucus, although it remains bipartisan.   Five years ago the 23-member Senate Republican Caucus and two Democrat senators joined to take the majority in the Senate. They took the Majority Coalition Caucus name to reflect the new bipartisan collaboration.   Sen. Tim Sheldon, […]

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‘I just wanted to express myself’

This must have been the week for calls from people who were transferred to my Senate office by “robo-calls”. One wave of callers seemed to be prompted by a robo-call about money for state lands and public-recreation projects. The funding is in the proposed capital budget, which should be approved soon after we agree on […]

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Don’t be taken in by the spin – legislators are negotiating

Democrat lawmakers still are trying to convince anyone within earshot that our Senate majority is boycotting negotiations toward a new operating budget. For instance, the Senate’s minority-caucus chair recently wrote that Democrats are “ready to sit down at the table.” Right after accusing our Senate majority of employing “alternative facts.” A few days earlier the […]

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Busting the Democrats’ myth about ‘Connecting Washington’

All year long Democrat lawmakers have mentioned the “Connecting Washington” transportation package of 2015 when talking about reaching major agreements this year. For the longest time that didn’t make sense. There wouldn’t have been a 2015 package if Democrats hadn’t fumbled the first try in 2013. Why keep bringing it up? Now it’s clear. Democrats […]

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Addressing ‘unconscionable’ agency actions that threaten public safety

My bill advocates stricter oversight for ‘unconscionable’ agency actions The effectiveness of court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling for those convicted of driving under the influence has been compromised by the mismanagement of complaints and the settlement process for license violations by those trusted to hold counseling providers accountable. I have responded with Senate Bill 5705, […]

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