News

Despite welcome repeal of Seattle’s ‘head tax,’ Senate Republicans will continue fight on behalf of working families

Published on June 12, 2018
OLYMPIA…Today the Seattle City Council repealed the “head tax” it unanimously enacted less than a month ago despite widespread and deafening opposition. Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, and Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, responded to the repeal by reinforcing their determination to continue with legislation that would clearly make such a tax illegal statewide... Read More

Schoesler says Republican senators will work to ensure Washington remains best place for aerospace

Published on June 06, 2018
OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, today offered this response to the governor’s announcement Wednesday that highlighted a study characterizing Washington as the best place in the world to build airplanes: “I’m pleased but not surprised that the study unveiled today supports my belief that our state offers many advantages for the aerospace industry,... Read More

O’Ban proposes ‘head tax’ credit to create jobs in Washington’s distressed counties

Published on May 24, 2018
OLYMPIA…..Many of Washington’s counties struggle to fight high unemployment as other local governments in Washington fight to tax job growth and drive business away. A tax credit proposal by Sen. Steve O’Ban aims to stimulate rural job growth with a $275 business and occupation tax credit to employers for each new qualifying job they create... Read More

Schoesler: Seattle City Council voted ‘yes’ on a tax it isn’t authorized to impose

Published on May 14, 2018
OLYMPIA…Sen. Mark Schoesler issued the following statement in response to the Seattle City Council passing the notorious “jobs tax” Monday despite the city having no constitutional authority to levy the tax. Schoesler, R-Ritzville, has drafted a bill that will make this clear to Seattle and any other Washington cities considering a similar move. “The Seattle... Read More

Senate leader says poll results should be ‘nail in the coffin’ for Seattle jobs tax

Published on May 03, 2018
  KING-TV survey shows landslide of opposition to controversial proposal   OLYMPIA…In a poll conducted during its Wednesday-evening broadcast, Seattle’s KING-TV asked viewers to weigh in on the controversial jobs tax proposed by the Seattle City Council. Did they side with supporters of the council’s proposal or with its biggest target – Amazon.com? The sentiment... Read More

Schoesler: Recklessly taxing large employers threatens family jobs

Published on April 13, 2018
   Seattle City Council’s “Amazon Tax” another example of its narrow-minded agenda   OLYMPIA…In the wake of this week’s political rally in Seattle in support of a new tax on large employers, Sen. Mark Schoesler, Senate Republican Leader, offered the following statement: “Jobs that large employers such as Amazon and Boeing create are critical to... Read More

Schoesler: Inslee’s signature on sweetheart deal for union is an affront to rights of home health-care workers

Published on March 27, 2018
New law robs home health-care workers, circumvents U.S. Supreme Court ruling   OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, offered the following comments Tuesday after Gov. Jay Inslee signed controversial legislation that essentially gives home health-care workers no choice but to sacrifice part of their modest income to pay dues to one of the state’s most... Read More

Schoesler: Democrat budget wastes opportunity of $2.3 billion surplus

Published on March 08, 2018
Olympia…Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, offered this comment about the 2018 supplemental operating budget, which was developed without bipartisan input and was presented to the Legislature for a vote this afternoon – on the last day of the legislative session: “I’ve been in the Legislature for 26 years and in that time, I’ve seen... Read More

Senate unanimously approves Brown’s College Campus Suicide Prevention bill

Published on February 08, 2018
Today the Senate unanimously passed a bill from Sen. Sharon Brown that would promote a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and behavioral health in higher education, with enhanced services to help students who are veterans. The bill is a result of a task force on mental health and suicide prevention in higher education, created by... Read More

O’Ban on Sound Transit: ‘They can afford it, my constituents can’t!’

Published on February 01, 2018
Senator Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, and Representative Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek, hosted a news conference on Feb. 1 to discuss Sound Transit legislation. The media availability focused on legislation that would cut car tab fees, hold Sound Transit accountable to taxpayers, stop Sound Transit from imposing property taxes on homeowners who weren’t given the opportunity to vote for Sound... Read More

Lower B&O taxes for manufacturers proposed to help reverse job losses

Published on January 23, 2018
A bipartisan group of lawmakers are hoping to revive a reduction in the state’s business and occupation tax for manufacturers and reverse the trend of significant job losses in the sector. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Michael Baumgartner, would implement a 40 percent reduction in the tax rate for manufacturers, which passed with overwhelming support... Read More

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

Published on January 19, 2018
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... Read More

Republican leader: Amazon’s HQ2 list should be a wake-up call

Published on January 18, 2018
OLYMPIA…In response to today’s announcement by Amazon.com that it has narrowed its search for a second-headquarters location to a short-list of 20 cities, Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued the following statement.   “The fact that Amazon’s finalists for HQ2 only include one West Coast city and none from Washington should be a wake-up... Read More

Senate Republican leaders offer condolences amid Amtrak tragedy in Pierce County

Published on December 18, 2017
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... Read More

Sen. John Braun statement on Gov. Inslee’s 2018 supplemental budget plan

Published on December 14, 2017
Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia and the ranking Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, gave this statement after Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled his 2018 supplemental budget proposal Thursday morning.   “I’m encouraged by a few components of the governor’s budget plan. I’m glad he is finally adhering to the four-year balanced budget law in... Read More

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler cautious about governor’s budget

Published on December 14, 2017
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, offered this comment about Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget released today:   “While it’s promising that the governor finally proposed a budget that balances over four years, I call on him to publicly commit to veto any budget that doesn’t. “I’m glad that undoing the levy reform enacted in the... Read More

Schoesler: Here’s what to look for in tomorrow’s budget proposal from Gov. Jay Inslee

Published on December 14, 2017
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, offered this comment about Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget proposal, expected to be released Thursday: “In a year when a single political party will control the House, the Senate and the governor’s mansion, the governor’s budget proposal will set the tone for everything that follows. The first thing to look... Read More

Senators welcome House Democrats’ reengagement on Hirst

Published on December 11, 2017
Senators Judy Warnick and Jim Honeyford welcomed news that House Democrats have planned a work session Dec. 12 to discuss the Hirst water rights court decision. “I have remained hopeful since the Legislature adjourned that we can deliver a Hirst fix for rural Washington,” said Warnick, R-Moses Lake, who sponsored Senate Bill 5239, the only... Read More

Senate Republican Caucus announces 2018 committee appointments

Published on November 28, 2017
 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... Read More

Court recognizes Legislature’s historic education investments

Published on November 15, 2017
A ruling today by the Washington State Supreme Court largely endorses the bipartisan school-funding reforms recently adopted by the Legislature in line with the 2012 McCleary ruling, according to Sen. John Braun. “Providing students with the support they need and deserve required us to solve a generational problem with a generational solution, which resulted in... Read More

Bipartisan coalition returns to roots as ‘Senate Republican Caucus’

Published on November 15, 2017
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,... Read More

Schoesler confident Legislature satisfied McCleary with bipartisan plan to fully fund basic education

Published on October 24, 2017
  OLYMPIA…Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued the following statement in response to today’s Washington State Supreme Court hearing regarding the Legislature’s plan to fully fund basic education.   At question is whether or not the plan satisfies the order of the court in the McCleary decision.   “This past year, the Legislature made... Read More

Sound Transit deceived lawmakers, public on ST3, violated constitution, Senate investigation finds

Published on October 23, 2017
Read executive summary here: ST-ExecSumLtrPaddenOBan OLYMPIA – Sound Transit misled lawmakers and voters in its effort to pass a $54 billion bond issue last year, concealing truth from decision-makers and violating the state constitution in the process, a Senate investigation has concluded. The Seattle-area rail transit agency won voter approval last November for a mammoth... Read More

Crucial rural water-rights issue holds up adjournment of 2017 legislative session

Published on July 10, 2017
Washington’s 2017 legislative session enters its seventh record-breaking month as a water-rights issue critical to rural property owners becomes the central issue at the statehouse. Lawmakers passed a budget June 30, averting a partial shutdown of state government – normally one of the final votes of any legislative session. But adjournment was delayed when the... Read More

Brown: Inslee vying for title of most anti-jobs governor in Washington history

Published on July 07, 2017
Sen. Sharon Brown, the state Senate’s leading advocate for jobs and economic development, voiced outrage today at Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of a tax incentive aimed at spurring economic growth and increasing manufacturing jobs. “Since I came to the Senate, attracting employers to Washington and helping them create jobs has been one of my top... Read More

‘No government shutdown’ assures Senate majority leader

Published on June 21, 2017
Schoesler maintains confidence that budget deal will be reached in time to avoid partial shutdown OLYMPIA…Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement of a third special legislative session to finalize negotiations on a budget for the 2017-19 biennium. “I fully expect the budget teams to submit a... Read More

Majority leader confident Legislature will reach budget deal soon

Published on June 13, 2017
Bipartisan plan to fully fund basic education expected to account for over 50 percent of spending   OLYMPIA…As the Legislature’s second special session for 2017 enters a third week, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler today expressed optimism and confidence that lawmakers will reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a new budget before the end of... Read More

In first vote of the special session, Senate approves Hirst-fix legislation again

Published on May 02, 2017
Vote gives Democrat-controlled House second chance to help rural families without water  While work on education-funding reform and a new state operating budget continues during the Legislature’s special session, the Senate today took up and passed Senate Bill 5239, known as the Hirst fix, to bring needed access to water for rural households. Sponsored by... Read More

Stronger protections against squatters approved by Legislature

Published on April 20, 2017
Washington homeowners will have stronger protections against squatters after legislation sponsored by Sen. Hans Zeiger today cleared the Washington State Legislature. Zeiger’s legislation, which now heads to the governor to be signed into law, gives law enforcement clear authority to evict squatters and bar them from returning to the property they had illegally occupied. “We’ve... Read More

Senate continues to expand public access through remote testimony

Published on April 17, 2017
Update to leaders notes significant progress; House fails to offer report Since 2014, Senators Mike Padden and Sharon Brown have led an effort to increase the opportunities for public participation in the legislative process. The two recently requested an update from Senate and House administrators on progress to enable testimony from places outside of the... Read More

Flawed water-rights ruling must be reversed

Published on April 12, 2017
BY SEN. RANDI BECKER Rarely does the Legislature see an issue that causes as much alarm as the state Supreme Court’s ruling last year in a water-rights case. The decision in Hirst vs. Whatcom County has become one of those issues that wells up from the ground and forces the Legislature to take notice —... Read More

In the News: Making Washington More Appealing For Manufacturing

Published on April 11, 2017
By Mike Richards -The Lens April 6, 2017 A Senate bill making its way through the Washington State Legislature aims to attract more manufacturing companies to move to the state and incentivize those and any existing businesses to remain and build their projects within Washington. SB 5642, which would offer tax deferrals for eligible manufacturing projects to be reinvested into job training... Read More

House approves Brown’s ‘Youth Behavioral Health Protection Act’

Published on April 10, 2017
Today the House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown that is aimed at better integrating mental and behavioral health services with pediatric primary-care services. “You need prevention, but to get prevention you need access to care,” said Brown, R-Kennewick. “This bill is a result of community conversations around the disproportionate number... Read More

Taking the classroom to the Capitol with technology

Published on March 30, 2017
Dragging a class of high school students 42 miles from their South King County classroom to the state Capitol is rarely an option during the busy school year. But this week an Auburn High School journalism class did manage to speak directly with Sen. Joe Fain, their state senator, about legislation they were tracking in... Read More

Senate capital budget would provide unprecedented support for education

Published on March 28, 2017
Water needs, mental-health services and natural resources are also big winners in Senate plan Today the Senate released a bipartisan, capital budget plan that would dedicate a record $1.1 billion toward school construction. Senate Bill 5086 appropriates $2.53 billion in bonds and $1.46 billion in cash for the 2017-19 biennium and the 2017 supplemental budget.... Read More

Senator King tells transit agency to consider soldiers and find a fair solution

Published on March 16, 2017
Before he adjourned a recent working session of the Senate Transportation Committee, Sen. King urged Sound Transit officials to consider the impact their car tab tax valuations were having on soldiers.  Sen. King related how soldiers had come to him and described struggling to make ends meet.  He said they told him that they didn’t... Read More

Senate approves temporary extension of local school levy rate with increased accountability

Published on March 08, 2017
The Washington State Senate today approved legislation extending a temporary increase in the maximum amount school districts can raise through property taxes for public schools and implementing reforms to provide accountability for how local levies are collected and accounted. “Washington students deserve a comprehensive solution that provides a world-class education system instead of a temporary... Read More

Senate’s minority Democrats vote down proposed income-tax ban

Published on March 07, 2017
OLYMPIA…The Democrat minority in the state Senate today voted against a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban a tax on individual incomes. Senate Joint Resolution 8204 needed a two-thirds majority to pass – meaning 33 votes from the 49-member Senate. All 25 members of the Senate majority supported the measure, but only two members of... Read More

Senate passes bill to increase accountability of DSHS’s Division of Behavioral Health & Recovery

Published on March 02, 2017
  The Senate passed a bill Wednesday which would require stricter oversight of the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery within the state Department of Social and Health Services. DBHR is responsible for licensing, inspecting and certifying behavioral-health providers who manage outpatient drug and alcohol services.   Sponsored by Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, Substitute Senate... Read More

Senate approves Walsh bill expanding dental coverage for pregnant women, diabetics

Published on March 02, 2017
OLYMPIA – The state Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would expand dental coverage for some of the state’s neediest Medicaid recipients – and likely save the state money in the long run. Senate Bill 5540, sponsored by Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, would make it easier for pregnant women and diabetics to see dentists... Read More

State Hispanic Commission recognizes our efforts to improve minority-owned business opportunities

Published on March 01, 2017
Senate passes the Small Business Bonding Relief bill   Read More

Warnick legislation to fix flawed Hirst water decision clears Senate

Published on March 01, 2017
  Sen. Judy Warnick’s legislation to fix the Hirst decision was approved Tuesday evening by the state Senate, despite efforts by some opposition Democrats to delay a legislative response that would aid rural homeowners. The decision, issued by the state Supreme Court in late 2016, effectively prevents the drilling of small, household wells without costly... Read More

Becker bill to improve contracting diversity at UW passes Senate

Published on March 01, 2017
The Senate today passed legislation aimed at improving the University of Washington’s diversity in awarding its contracts for capital projects.   Senate Bill 5631, sponsored by Sen. Randi Becker, would make the contracting process more inclusive of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in projects where critical patient care or highly specialized medical research are involved. It... Read More

Warnick bill would grant new protections for state’s cattle industry

Published on February 28, 2017
Sen. Judy Warnick’s legislation to have air-quality rules treat cattle feedlots the same as other agricultural operations was approved today by the state Senate. Agricultural operations are exempt from state clean-air rules; Warnick’s Senate Bill 5196 would extend the exemption to feedlots while establishing a process and guidelines for addressing activities that may be detrimental... Read More

Becker seeks to address ‘unconscionable’ agency actions with stricter oversight

Published on February 15, 2017
Sen. Randi Becker says 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.   Becker, R-Eatonville, has responded with Senate Bill 5705, which would require... Read More

Warnick plans Tuesday hearing on collaborative approach to Washington rural development

Published on January 20, 2017
The chair of the Senate’s water-policy committee has responded to an anti-rural ruling from the state Supreme Court by filing legislation concerning the availability of water for new household wells. Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, has scheduled Senate Bill 5239 for a public hearing Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 8 a.m. before the Senate Agriculture, Water,... Read More

Rivers’ corrections-partnership bill a ‘game changer’ for law enforcement

Published on April 19, 2016
It was 2011, and Clark County detective Jason Granneman was fed up. As a law-enforcement officer he came into daily contact with individuals who were serving the remainder of their sentences in the community, instead of behind bars, sometimes for months or even years. Officially they are in “community corrections” status; however, because they are... Read More

Senate approves ‘true’ supplemental capital budget

Published on February 26, 2016
The Senate today gave a strong endorsement to its proposed supplemental capital budget, voting 39-10 for a collection of changes totaling $87 million. The budget would provide funding for new classrooms, mental-health support and environmental cleanup, without tapping the state’s rainy-day fund or relying on a new revenue source. “It was gratifying to see my colleagues... Read More

Senate’s sensible supplemental capital budget built on solid principles

Published on February 24, 2016
The Senate’s capital-budget chair said the $87 million supplemental capital-budget proposal released today focuses squarely on supporting new classrooms, providing temporary mental-health housing and addressing an environmental-cleanup emergency, all within available revenue. “This is a true supplemental budget, not a laundry list of new projects. The supplemental is meant to be a vehicle for minor... Read More

Schoesler named ‘Legislative Champion’ by Washington Association of Realtors

Published on September 22, 2015
Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is a co-winner of the award with Sen. Andy Hill of Redmond, the Senate majority’s budget chief. They helped lead the Legislature to adopt a new 2015-17 operating budget which is balanced without general tax increases that would have hit Main Street employers and family-level investors. Read More

Senate majority makes college more affordable with historic tuition cuts

Published on July 27, 2015
Senate Majority leader Mark Schoesler recaps the news coverage of an historic session: ‘Historic’ tuition cut sets state apart from rest of U.S. Seattle Times, June 13, 2015 Washington’s move isn’t well-known elsewhere in the country, but some say it could spur other states to think about cuts. “I don’t know how widely known this proposal... Read More

A messy session with a splendid finish

Published on July 22, 2015
This post originally appeared on the leadership blog of the Majority Coalition Caucus, Exit 105. If ever there was a legislative session that proved Otto von Bismarck right, it is the one we just finished. Von Bismarck is the former German chancellor we always quote about legislating and sausage-making: “Laws are like sausages – it... Read More

Session finale brings huge win, lasting achievements for Eastern Washington, Baumgartner says

Published on July 10, 2015
OLYMPIA… The 2015 legislative session ended Friday in victory for Eastern Washington, said state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane. Seldom has the outcome of a legislative session so well reflected the interests and the bedrock principles of Eastern Washington, he said. Washington lawmakers wrapped up their session Friday on the 176th day, the longest continuous legislative... Read More

Transportation package huge win for Eastern Washington, Baumgartner says

Published on June 29, 2015
OLYMPIA… A $16 billion transportation package approved by Washington lawmakers Monday night offers a huge win for Eastern Washington, delivering some $1 billion to Spokane County alone and finally finishing the North-South Freeway, said Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane. At the same time, it makes big reforms in the way the state spends and manages its... Read More

College students win as lawmakers enact historic tuition rollback, Baumgartner says

Published on June 29, 2015
OLYMPIA… Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, issued the following statement Monday evening after the Washington Senate voted for an unprecedented college-tuition rollback in the final agreement on a 2015-17 operating budget and in Senate Bill 5954: “The big winners in this state budget agreement are college students and their families. Because of Senate Republican leadership, college students... Read More

Support swells at Capitol for naming new WSU medical school for Elson Floyd

Published on June 23, 2015
OLYMPIA… The idea of naming the new Washington State University medical school in Spokane for its greatest champion, the late university president Elson Floyd, is receiving a groundswell of support at the Capitol, reports Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane. Baumgartner will introduce a bill this week naming the school for the university president who died Saturday... Read More

Coug nation grieves the loss of WSU President Elson Floyd

Published on June 21, 2015
Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued the following statement on the death of Washington State University President Elson Floyd: “It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Elson Floyd this morning. As president of Washington State University, Dr. Floyd was a widely admired leader and a passionate advocate for improved... Read More

2015: Best year for K-12 education funding in decades

Published on May 11, 2015
Washington’s education union is planning a series of one-day strikes protesting the Legislature’s work on education funding. See here for information on the strike. What have lawmakers done for students this year? Greatest new investment in K-12 of any budget in state history Bipartisan efforts would invest in all-day kindergarten, K-3 class size reduction and... Read More

Looking ahead to special session, Sheldon says much work to be done

Published on April 28, 2015
OLYMPIA… As Washington lawmakers prepare for a special overtime session, state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, said he is proud of what the Legislature has done so far – and hugely disappointed the Legislature failed to get its business done on time. “The only way we can come to agreement on a budget is if both... Read More

No pay for striking teachers, Sheldon declares

Published on April 24, 2015
OLYMPIA… When teachers go on strike, Washington taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay them for it, says state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch – and he is introducing a bill requiring school districts to dock their paychecks. “I don’t think people realize teachers get paid when they go on strike,” Sheldon said. “It’s not supposed to be... Read More

Follow the breadcrumbs to a government shutdown

Published on April 24, 2015
This post originally appeared on the leadership blog of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, Exit 105. Last week, when there was still a chance for us to finish our business in Olympia on time and adjourn this weekend, we were flabbergasted by an argument we heard from our Democratic colleagues in the House. As budget... Read More

School Superintendents speak out on the importance of finishing state budget on time

Published on April 21, 2015
“School districts depend so much on the Legislature to complete their work on time so that we can complete our work.  Whether it’s hiring teachers to reduce class size, adding more sections of full-day kindergarten, or purchasing busses, until the Legislature approves a budget, we are unable to move forward with our planning and decision-making. ... Read More

Majority Leader: ‘Troy Kelley has damaged public trust – time to resign’

Published on April 16, 2015
  OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released this statement in reaction to the federal indictment of state Auditor Troy Kelley. “The damage has been done and it’s time for Troy Kelley to resign immediately. There is nothing he can do to restore public trust given his evasion and silence on these serious allegations. We... Read More

A capital budget that builds classrooms, not state office buildings

Published on April 14, 2015
This post originally appeared in the Majority Coalition Caucus leadership blog, Exit 105. Over the weekend a news story highlighted one of the big problems the Legislature faces this year. We’re mandating all-day kindergarten and reducing class sizes in grades K-3. And if we do that, we’re going to need to build more classrooms. The... Read More

Senate continues to put the ‘public’ back in public education with capital-budget approval

Published on April 14, 2015
The Senate today approved its proposal to build over 2,100 classrooms, fully fund 80 parks and trails, inject $60 million into local-government infrastructure projects statewide and provide $30 million to expand the number of community behavioral health beds. Over 30 percent of the Senate’s $3.9-billion capital budget is devoted to supporting public education – through... Read More

Senate and House leaders meet to discuss budget negotiations

Published on April 10, 2015
OLYMPIA…As the 2015 legislative session nears the end of its 105 day limit, Senate Majority Coalition budget negotiators are reaching across the aisle and Rotunda to end on time and on budget. The Senate has passed a complete budget. The House has passed a $39 billion spending plan. This is an important difference between the... Read More

Senate budget avoids new taxes, slashes tuition, boosts Mason County, Sheldon says

Published on April 06, 2015
OLYMPIA… A $38 billion budget proposal approved by the state Senate Monday avoids tax increases and offers an enormous middle-class tax cut, in the form of reduced tuition at the state’s colleges and universities, said Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch. “This is a proposal I think the tough-minded people of rural Washington can support,” Sheldon said.... Read More

Majority Leader: We have the votes to pass a no-new-taxes budget

Published on April 06, 2015
OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released this statement in advance of passage of a 2015-17 operating budget by members of the state Senate: “We have the votes to pass a no-new-taxes budget that fully funds K-12 education and offers college students and their families the first tuition cut in at least a generation. “It’s... Read More

Senate passes WSU med-school bill with overwhelming bipartisan support

Published on March 10, 2015
OLYMPIA… The Washington state Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure allowing Washington State University to teach medicine – the first step toward establishing a Washington State University medical school in Spokane. The 45-4 vote for Senate Bill 5487 is a huge win, not just for Spokane but for the entire state, said the measure’s sponsor,... Read More

Washington founders of Civil Air Patrol honored by Senate

Published on February 24, 2015
The four Washingtonians who helped found the Civil Air Patrol more than 70 years ago were honored today during a ceremony in the state Senate chamber. Lt. Col. Warren Davis of Seattle and Lt. Col. Richard Hagmann of Spokane attended, as did the family members representingtheir deceased comrades: Lt. James Campbell of Redmond and Master... Read More

Legislature’s ‘aviation caucus’ to spotlight historic wartime flights

Published on January 28, 2015
Kicking off the first 2015 meeting of the state Legislature’s “Aviation Caucus” Thursday will be a visit from two members of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, a Bellingham-based group dedicated to recreating a flight along the historic Alaska-Siberia air route used in World War II. The little-known air route represented a dangerous 6,000-mile journey from Great... Read More

King selected to lead Senate transportation committee

Published on December 17, 2014
During a meeting of Senate majority lawmakers Monday, Sen. Curtis King was chosen to chair the Senate Transportation Committee. As head of the committee, King will steer the transportation agenda and bill proposals, as well as write the biennial transportation budget. It is anticipated that the agenda will focus on passage of a reform and transportation-revenue package.... Read More

Honeyford is first to receive new CWU alumni award

Published on May 15, 2014
In a ceremony May 1, Sen. Jim Honeyford received the first-ever College of the Sciences Alumni of the Year award for Social Sciences from Central Washington University. The award recognizes Honeyford’s ongoing passion and interest in CWU as well as his work as chair of the Senate capital budget to fund Science Phase II, a... Read More

Honeyford’s perfect record of support for small business continues

Published on May 15, 2014
Sen. Jim Honeyford has again earned the Guardian of Small Business Award by maintaining a perfect voting record during the 2013-14 biennium on issues that count for small businesses. He was one of 15 senators to receive a 100-percent score from the National Federation of Independent Business. “Communities across the 15th Legislative District depend on... Read More

Post session Olympia Report

Published on April 08, 2014
In my latest Olympia Report I discuss the Legislature finishing on time–without raising taxes, bills I had signed by the governor and the Capital Budget outlook. Click HERE to read more. Read More

Honeyford bill to protect state waters signed by governor

Published on April 03, 2014
Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford’s work to keep state waterways from being infested by non-native mussels and other invasive species was validated when Senate Bill 6040 was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee during a ceremony Wednesday. By using an integrated-management approach supported by Honeyford’s legislation, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will be able to... Read More
Clear-headed thinking with insight into the key issues of the 2015 legislative session, Exit 105 is the leadership blog of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus.
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