News

Republican leaders again call on Gov. Jay Inslee to fully reopen the state

Published on June 01, 2021
House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun released the following statement today: “We are calling on Governor Inslee to fully reopen the state immediately. He had left the door open to a reopening before June 30, and we viewed June 15 as a more appropriate target. Now, with vaccination rates continuing... Read More

Braun: Inslee again violates state constitution with illegal veto

Published on May 17, 2021
OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, offered the following remarks after Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed parts of two bills he signed today — House Bill 1091, referred to by Republicans as the High Cost Fuel Standard, and Senate Bill 5126, also known as Cap & Tax. Together the two bills set the stage for a... Read More

Braun reacts to governor’s veto of his COVID-related provision in racial equity analysis bill

Published on May 14, 2021
OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, offered the following remarks after Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed his amendment to Senate Bill 5405. The bill, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Bob Hasegawa, mandates a racial equity analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC). Braun’s amendment, which was accepted by the Senate in a 47-2... Read More

Republican leaders say new CDC guidance supports June 15 reopening

Published on May 13, 2021
OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun and House Republican J.T. Wilcox offered this statement today after the governor announced many of his COVID-19 economic restrictions will be lifted by the end of June. “Earlier this week members of all four legislative caucuses encouraged Governor Inslee to share the vision of his counterparts in California and... Read More

Braun encouraged by governor’s restraint on economic restrictions

Published on May 04, 2021
OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this statement today after Gov. Jay Inslee announced all Washington counties will remain under their current economic-restart restrictions for two weeks, temporarily ending the threat of a rollback in more than a dozen counties. “I’m very pleased Governor Inslee eventually recognized the restrictions on in-person instruction were counterproductive... Read More

E. Washington senators oppose flurry of tax and fee hikes passed by Legislature

Published on April 25, 2021
Four Republican state senators from eastern Washington – 8th District Sen. Sharon Brown, 16th District Sen. Perry Dozier, 9th District Sen. Mark Schoesler and 13th District Sen. Judy Warnick – were among legislators who opposed three bills creating or raising taxes or fees that were passed during the Legislature’s final weekend of its scheduled regular... Read More

That’s a wrap: Republican leaders wish Legislature had listened to the people more

Published on April 25, 2021
OLYMPIA…Senate Republican leaders released the following remarks as the 2021 legislative session came to a close as it prepared for the traditional “Sine Die” adjournment.   Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia: “Throughout this session Republicans have consistently offered ideas and taken positions that come from listening to the people. It’s been disappointing to see... Read More

Senators call for action on emergency powers issue

Published on April 25, 2021
People deserve a voice in COVID lockdown decisions, Wilson says OLYMPIA – In the final hours of the 2021 legislative session, Senate Republicans are calling on majority Democrats to restore the people’s voice in COVID lockdown decisions and other public emergencies. In a letter to Senate Democratic Leader Andy Billig, Republican senators observe that if... Read More

Democrats stay with high-tax budget that will hit low-income, marginalized communities harder

Published on April 24, 2021
OLYMPIA… The final 2021-23 operating-budget agreement made public this afternoon by the Legislature’s majority Democrats is still a step backwards for Washington’s low-income families and marginalized communities, say budget leaders in the Senate Republican Caucus. Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, and Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, also are critical of how legislators and the public are being... Read More

Historic support for broadband in final capital budget

Published on April 22, 2021
Schools, behavioral-health services and housing affordability are also big winners in compromise budget; funds 11 hatchery projects Today the Legislature rolled out its final, agreed-to capital budget for 2021-23. The $6.3 billion bipartisan spending plan would invest a record $413 million toward the expansion of broadband, including $50 million in bonds for Sen. Jim Honeyford’s... Read More

Legislative Republicans: Emergency power reform not about the governor – it’s about the people

Published on April 21, 2021
OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, and House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, offered the following statement in response to an interview Gov. Jay Inslee gave criticizing the efforts of legislative Republicans to advance bills this session addressing the reform of the governor’s emergency powers. During the interview, the governor claimed Republicans’ true motive for... Read More

No counties should be moving backward, say legislative Republican leaders

Published on April 12, 2021
OLYMPIA…Legislative Republican leaders released the following statement after learning that three counties will be forced to move backward to Phase 2 in the governor’s reopening plan. Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, and Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, expressed their frustration with the governor’s decision and the Democrat majorities’ inaction on executive powers reform. “The communities of Cowlitz,... Read More

Cutoff highlights refusal to address emergency powers — one of many majority Democrat failures, say top Senate Republicans

Published on April 12, 2021
OLYMPIA…Senate Republican leaders released the following remarks after Sunday’s legislative deadline for bills that passed in their house origin to be considered by the opposite chamber. Bills that did not pass in both chambers by Sunday’s cutoff are considered ‘dead’ except for those considered necessary to implement the budget, such as the income tax proposed... Read More

Senate capital budget would provide unprecedented support for broadband

Published on March 25, 2021
Schools, behavioral-health services and housing affordability are also big winners in Senate plan Today the Senate released a bipartisan capital budget plan that would dedicate an unprecedented $490 million toward expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas, along with $406 million toward behavioral-health services and $315 million for affordable housing – three areas identified as... Read More

Senate Democrats tie budget proposal to unconstitutional tax

Published on March 25, 2021
Best parts of new plan mirror Republican spending ideas, says Wilson Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver and Republican leader on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, offered this statement about the 2021-23 operating-budget proposal made public today by the state Senate’s Democratic majority. “The good news is this budget would make some important spending decisions similar... Read More

Wilson looking for taxpayer-friendly budget from Senate majority

Published on March 24, 2021
Republican budget leader notes progressive property-tax reform now within reach OLYMPIA… The Senate Democratic 2021-23 operating-budget proposal is expected to become public Thursday, and Sen. Lynda Wilson says she’ll be looking for it to be at least as taxpayer-friendly as the budget Senate Republicans proposed Feb. 11. “I’m anticipating the Democratic proposal will match ours... Read More

Republican leaders say endorsement of 3-foot spacing would help classrooms reopen

Published on March 18, 2021
OLYMPIA… The state Legislature’s top Republican leaders today said a gubernatorial endorsement of 3-foot spacing for classrooms would help Washington schools comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s March 15 emergency proclamation calling for at least a partial return to regular classroom instruction. Senate Republican Leader John Braun and House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox noted the possibility... Read More

Wilson encouraged by new revenue forecast, disappointed by majority’s continued push for taxes

Published on March 17, 2021
OLYMPIA… The first state-revenue forecast for 2021 indicates a surprisingly large increase of $3.3 billion for the current two-year budget cycle and $5.2 billion over the next four years. Sen. Lynda Wilson, Republican leader on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and a member of the state Economic Revenue and Forecast Council, offered this statement... Read More

Senate Republican leaders: Inslee’s school-choice approach to reopening K-12 instruction solid step toward improving youth mental health  

Published on March 12, 2021
  OLYMPIA… Leaders in the Senate Republican Caucus released the following remarks in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement today that all K-12 public schools in Washington will be required by executive order to provide safe in-person and remote learning options for students by mid-April. Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia: “There is no doubt... Read More

Senate Republicans encouraged Washington moving ahead in reopening

Published on March 11, 2021
Governor’s plan for Phase 3 echoes Republican’s “Open Safe, Open Now”   OLYMPIA…Top leadership of the Washington State Senate Republican Caucus offered these remarks after the governor announced today that Washington is moving forward in his phased approach to reopening the state in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 3, which begins March 22,... Read More

Senate Republican leaders denounce passage of income-tax bill

Published on March 06, 2021
OLYMPIA… Key leaders in the Senate Republican Caucus reacted strongly today after the Senate’s Democratic majority approved legislation to create a state income tax, despite knowing an income tax has been unconstitutional in Washington since 1932. Since 1934, Washington voters have rejected 10 attempts to enact an income tax, either through amending the state constitution or... Read More

Honeyford bill to extend Invasive Species Council into 2032 wins unanimous Senate approval

Published on March 02, 2021
Today the Senate unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford to change the expiration date of the Washington State Invasive Species Council from June 30, 2022, to June 30, 2032. “In addition to being one of the most 2020 of all 2020 stories, the arrival of murder hornets into Whatcom County is a... Read More

Senate passes Brown’s bill to create industry-siting program

Published on February 26, 2021
Measure is a smart way to bring industry and environmentalists together, says sponsor Today, the Senate voted 47-0 to approve Sen. Sharon Brown’s legislation to establish an innovative statewide industrial-siting coordination program. “Industrial symbiosis addresses critical needs – the need of industrial business to reduce costs and increase profitability, and the public need to improve... Read More

Senate unanimously passes Brown’s measure to create a confidential youth-safety and well-being tip line

Published on February 25, 2021
Today the Senate unanimously approved Sen. Sharon Brown’s bill to implement the Youth Empowered to Speak-up (YES) program statewide. Second Substitute Senate Bill 5327 would create a tip-line mobile app to allow students to confidentially report potential self-harm or criminal activities directed at schools, students or school employees. “On Sunday, our community tragically lost yet... Read More

Republican senators make new bid to get Washington children back into classrooms

Published on February 24, 2021
OLYMPIA… A bill to help get children back into classrooms has been introduced by several Republican senators, just as a new report shows Washington is behind nearly every other state in providing in-person instruction. Senate Bill 5464 was introduced Tuesday, the same day Senate Republican Leader John Braun wrote to Gov. Jay Inslee, encouraging him... Read More

Senate Republicans oppose income-tax bill; Braun calls out ‘emergency clause’

Published on February 17, 2021
OLYMPIA… Last evening a majority on the Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to recommend the passage of Senate Bill 5096, which would put a 7-percent tax on income from the sale or exchange of capital assets. The proposal, which is another attempt to impose a state income tax on Washington residents, was requested by... Read More

Senate Republicans unveil budget to help state restart and recover

Published on February 11, 2021
Plan to get schools open and people back to work also doesn’t need more taxes Less than one-third of the way through the 2021 legislative session, Senate Republicans have stepped forward with a 2021-23 budget proposal aimed at restarting schools and bringing jobs back, while saving money for lower-income families. “Senate Republicans have been listening... Read More

Senate Republicans unveil budget to help state restart and recover

Published on February 11, 2021
Plan to get schools open and people back to work also doesn’t need more taxes OLYMPIA… Less than one-third of the way through the 2021 legislative session, Senate Republicans have stepped forward with a 2021-23 budget proposal aimed at restarting schools and bringing jobs back, while saving money for lower-income families. “Senate Republicans have been... Read More

Braun to Inslee: Time to take the security fences down

Published on February 04, 2021
OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, sent Gov. Jay Inslee the following letter regarding the continued use of security fencing around many of the buildings on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.   February 3, 2021 Governor Jay Inslee Office of the Governor PO Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002 Dear Governor Inslee, Although the Governor’s Mansion... Read More

Let people gather in safe, regulated public places – open Washington

Published on January 28, 2021
Senator John Braun and Senator Jeff Wilson encouraged, hopeful for governor’s announcement OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, and Sen. Jeff Wilson, ranking Republican on the Senate State Government and Elections Committee, released the following remarks after reading in the media the Senate majority leader’s comments that the governor would be loosening restrictions on restaurants and... Read More

Majority dodges vote on bipartisan bill to safely reopen Washington

Published on January 27, 2021
OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered these remarks after the Senate majority avoided taking action today on Senate Bill 5114, which would immediately move all eight regions of the state to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest economic restart plan: “SB 5114 is the bipartisan plan to safely reopen Washington. It received an... Read More

Braun bill to reopen Washington receives staggering amount of public support

Published on January 20, 2021
Senate Republican Leader is grateful small business workers had their voices heard OLYMPIA… Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, issued this statement after dozens of people testified this morning before the Senate State Government and Elections Committee in support of Senate Bill 5114. It would move all regions of Washington to Phase II of Gov. Jay Inslee’s... Read More

Surprise! Majority looks to abdicate a basic role of the legislative branch

Published on January 13, 2021
I can’t tell you how many people contacted my Senate office during the past nine-plus months about the unprecedented actions Governor Inslee has taken since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them, using words that made their frustration or desperation obvious, asked what legislators could do regarding the dozens of proclamations he’s made since... Read More

Braun says new Senate rules severely limit access to democracy

Published on January 11, 2021
OLYMPIA…After an historic day in the Washington State Legislature where changes to the rules were adopted to allow for the 2021 Legislative Session to continue remotely, Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, released a statement. Braun said he’s disappointed that majority Democrats refused to bend on new Senate operating rules for the 2021 legislative session... Read More

Republican lawmakers step up with plan for safe restart of economy

Published on April 17, 2020
OLYMPIA… Republicans in the state Senate and House of Representatives today shared the first plan for safely restarting Washington’s economy while state government’s response to the COVID-19 emergency continues. “Employers across our state are looking to government for a strategy that starts to take the brake off the economy. Republicans have come through with a... Read More

Legislative Republicans’ Safe Economic Restart Plan — April 17, 2020

Published on April 17, 2020
Legislative Republicans Safe Economic Restart Plan — April 17, 2020 Read More

Schoesler statement on announcement of West Coast governors’ pact

Published on April 15, 2020
OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued this statement in response to Monday’s announcement by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom that they have an agreement on a shared vision for reopening their states’ economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future. “If Washington shares a vision with... Read More

Sheldon survey shows deep opposition to tax increases, progressive agenda

Published on March 10, 2020
“Taxpayers are not ATMs,” say voters in 35th Legislative District – a benchmark for the vast region beyond the King County line OLYMPIA – A survey of voters in the state’s most rural district displays deep opposition to the agenda being pushed through the Washington Legislature in the final days of the 2020 legislative session.... Read More

Schoesler: Army Corps’ rejection of Snake River dam-breaching ought to end the argument

Published on February 28, 2020
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued the following statement Friday, after release of a long-awaited draft environmental impact statement on Snake River dam operations. The report, issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration rejected proposals to breach the four lower Snake River dams, saying benefits... Read More

Sonics legend Jack Sikma honored by Senate on induction to Hall of Fame

Published on April 18, 2019
Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, and Jack Sikma. To see Senate resolution, click here. OLYMPIA – Jack Sikma, one of the standouts on the legendary Seattle SuperSonics team that captured the 1979 NBA title, was honored by the Washington Senate Thursday on his upcoming induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In remarks to... Read More

‘Net metering’ bill forces low-income Washingtonians to subsidize solar panels for the wealthy, senators say

Published on March 05, 2019
OLYMPIA – A ‘net metering’ bill passed by the Senate Monday forces low-income Washington residents to subsidize rooftop solar panels for the well-to-do, senators complained. Senate Bill 5223 requires utilities to dramatically expand their purchases of power from customers with rooftop solar panels, to at least 4 percent of their load, if sufficient customers seek... Read More

Honeyford receives award for service to veterans and their families

Published on December 14, 2018
With veterans looking on Friday, Lourdes (Alfie) Alvarado-Ramos, director of Washington’s Department of Veteran Affairs, presented Sen. Jim Honeyford with the 2018 Outstanding Service to Veterans – Legislator of the Year Award for his service to Washington’s veterans and their families. “It is really an honor to receive this recognition,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. “I’ve always... 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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
Clear-headed thinking with insight into the key issues of the 2021 legislative session, the leadership blog of the Senate Republican Caucus. + View Blog