Author Archives: Laudan

Bipartisan group of Senate leaders say enough is enough, time for Kreidler to step down as insurance commissioner

By Laudan | Published on June 16, 2022

A bipartisan group of Senate leaders today called on state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to resign, calling his actions in office “appalling” and “unacceptable,” after he fired a whistle-blower who came forward with allegations of abusive and inappropriate workplace behaviors.

“The claims of inappropriate workplace conduct were disturbing on their own and called into question Commissioner Kreidler’s ability to effectively lead his office,” said Senate Republican Leader John Braun. “But firing a whistleblower is completely unacceptable, and quite frankly, the final straw.

“As elected officials, we are responsible for creating a respectful workplace and assuring the men and women we work alongside to serve the public are treated with dignity. We should be rewarding staff who are brave enough to speak up when they witness illegal or unethical behavior, not trying to silence and fire them.”

Braun, R-Centralia, also noted that the Legislature has an obligation to exercise oversight of executive officers who attempt to avoid and undermine their own ethics rules.

“There has to be accountability for these actions,” added Braun. “Commissioner Kreidler should do the right thing and step down immediately.”

Sen. Mark Mullet, chair of the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee, said there is no justification for Kreidler to remain on the job.

“This is clearly grounds for removal. Firing a whistleblower? Commissioner Kreidler needs to resign immediately and allow someone else to go to work restoring the integrity of this important agency,” said Mullet, D-Issaquah.

“To be honest, I’m disturbed by this but not at all surprised. This is consistent with the behavior he’s shown over the past couple of years in his dealings with the Legislature and with stakeholders. Now he’s placing himself above the ethics rules of his own agency and firing the whistleblower who called him out on his actions.

“Commissioner Kreidler has shown he is not fit to continue in his position. The role of this agency is too important to spend the next two-and-a-half years with staff afraid to speak up when they see something wrong,” added Mullet.

Sen. Perry Dozier, R-Waitsburg, serves as ranking member on the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee. In that capacity, he regularly works with staff from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and said his heart goes out to workers living in fear of termination just for speaking up.

“The men and women who work at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner are dedicated public servants,” said Dozier. “They deserve to be able to do their work without being demeaned and abused.

“The disturbing allegations in this case should have been a wake-up call for the commissioner, causing him to reevaluate his behavior, apologize and take steps to restore the working relationship between him and his staff. Instead, he chose the worst option available – to remain in office and use that position to further abuse his power and the people’s trust by firing the whistleblower.

“This type of behavior is something that should not be tolerated from anyone in public office. I agree with my colleagues and leaders in both parties, enough is enough. It is time for Kreidler to go so that someone who can effectively and ethically do the critical work of this office can step in,” added Dozier.

Republican leaders oppose vaccine mandate for the private sector

By Laudan | Published on November 06, 2021

House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun released the following statement today:

“We oppose the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for the private sector. This policy will be counterproductive. It will also endanger successful Washington businesses, which have already adjusted to protect public health, and risk more shortages of critical goods and services. Even marginal changes to our state’s workforce could have major consequences for our regional economy.

“Governor Inslee has created an expectation that he will go beyond the Biden Administration’s requirements, including no testing options and smaller businesses being targeted. The governor should choose a path that is least intrusive to employers and least divisive to employees.

“We have learned over the past 18 months that businesses have been successful in implementing policies to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The free market has responded with tools, incentives and successful accommodations. It does not need more government controls.

“The governor’s use of extended emergency powers to enact sweeping orders has caused more resistance and division in our state, as the majority party in the Legislature stands down and avoids responsibility. If the governor wants a vaccine mandate for the private sector, then bring it to the Legislature in January and allow state lawmakers – and their constituents – to have a voice on the issue.”

How Does the Census Work?

By Laudan | Published on September 04, 2019

How do you count nearly 330 million people?

By first sending them a postcard. In mid-March next year, the U.S. Census Bureau will send each household a postcard inviting residents to either call or go online. Residents may then inform the bureau how many people reside at that address. The questionnaire for the census will then ask for the name, gender, age, and race/ethnicity of each person who resides at that address. It will also ask whether residents own or rent, and request a good contact phone number in case there needs to be a follow-up.

Finally, only one person should fill out the census for each household.

Census 2020 Timeline

By Laudan | Published on 

Here’s a timeline for the census next year:

March 2020: Census Invites

April 1, 2020: Census 2020

April-May 2020: Reminders to residents to complete Census

December 31, 2020: Census results delivered to the president

Schoesler and Warnick welcome appointment of Ybarra to 13th District vacancy

By Laudan | Published on January 15, 2019

On the first day of the 2019 legislative session, commissioners from Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln and Yakima counties appointed longtime Quincy resident Alex Ybarra to the state House of Representatives to fill a vacant seat in the delegation. Ybarra was immediately sworn in upon appointment and will join Sen. Judy Warnick and Rep. Tom Dent as part of the 13th District delegation in Olympia for the 105-day legislative session.

Ybarra is no stranger to Olympia, serving on several legislative task forces and state commissions, and will be a familiar face when he takes his seat in the Legislature.

Warnick, R-Moses Lake, who has worked with Ybarra on a variety of policy issues over the past several years, welcomed his appointment.

“I first met Alex at an education listening tour in the district and I knew then that he would make a dynamic public servant,” said Warnick. “His personal story and passion for serving the community are evident. Our district has an outstanding new Representative working for them in Olympia.”

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, has also worked with Ybarra in Olympia on energy and education issues, noting, “Alex is an extremely hard worker. He’s knowledgeable, insightful and able to get things done. The people of the 13th District have someone who is going to make sure their voice is heard in the Legislature.”

En el primer día de la sesión legislativa de 2019, los comisionados de los condados de Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln y Yakima nombraron al residente de Quincy, Alex Ybarra, a la Cámara de Representantes del estado para ocupar un puesto vacante en la delegación. Ybarra fue jurado inmediatamente después de su nombramiento y se unirá con la senadora Judy Warnick y con el representante Tom Dent como parte de la delegación del Distrito 13 en Olympia para la sesión legislativa de 105 días.

Ybarra no es desconocido a Olympia, él se desempeña en varios grupos de trabajo legislativos y comisiones estatales, y será una cara familiar cuando tome su asiento en la Legislatura. Warnick, R-Moses Lake, quien ha trabajado con Ybarra en una variedad de proyectos políticos durante los últimos años, dio la bienvenida a su nombramiento.

“Conocí a Alex en un tour educativo en el distrito y supe entonces que sería un servidor público dinámico,” dijo Warnick. “Su historia personal y su pasión por servir a la comunidad son evidentes. Nuestro distrito tiene un nuevo representante excepcional que trabaja para el en Olympia.”

El líder republicano del Senado, Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, también ha trabajado con Ybarra en Olympia en temas de energía y educación, y el nota, “Alex es extremadamente trabajador. Él está bien informado, perspicaz y capaz de hacer las cosas. La gente del Distrito 13 tiene a alguien que se asegurará de que su voz sea reconocida en la Legislatura.”


Episode 2 – Western State Hospital

By Laudan | Published on August 03, 2018

The views expressed by individual members are not necessarily those of the entire caucus.

Episode 1 – Sen. O’Ban discusses his jobs tax credit

By Laudan | Published on 

The views expressed by individual members are not necessarily those of the entire caucus.

Senate Republican leaders offer condolences amid Amtrak tragedy in Pierce County

By Laudan | 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 community’s firefighters, police and EMTs. This incident is unprecedented for our Pierce County community and I urge patience as people work to alleviate traffic, provide needed medical care and reconnect loved ones.”

“I am in conversation with the Governor’s Office and other leaders to determine how the state will respond to this emergency,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “I echo Senator Becker’s sentiments. The people affected by this tragedy are in our prayers throughout Washington. We will do all we can to help citizens impacted by this disaster.”

Our efforts to protect rural Washington’s future.

By Laudan | Published on July 05, 2017

Warnick urges action on Hirst in letter to governor


Where does the Hirst Fix stand as of March 31

Senate Bill 5239

Press release on passage of SB 5239

Sen. Judy Warnick’s testimony on the Hirst fix

Sen. Shelly Short discusses Hirst