Majority Coalition leaders laud committee chairs for bipartisan accomplishments

New leadership delivering on commitment to bring new way of governing to Senate

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, and Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, today applauded the Senate’s committee chairs for their even-handed approach to moving legislation forward by Friday’s deadline for policy committees to act on Senate bills.

“One of the main reasons I went through with forming the Majority Coalition was because I wanted to put people such as Senator (Steve) Litzow in charge of issues such as education,” said Tom. “We’re bringing a fresh approach to this issue and considering ideas that would have never been brought forward otherwise; I couldn’t be prouder of the job this team of committee chairs has done.”

Schoesler agreed. “The Majority Coalition Caucus is governing – focusing on job growth, education and creating a sustainable budget while bringing an unprecedented level of cooperation,” said the 20-year veteran of the Legislature. “Our chairs have gone out of their way to create a new way of governing that is based on collaboration, bipartisanship and mutual respect.

“For most of my career in public service I have been in the minority, so I understand the frustration the other side of the aisle must be feeling. But I have never seen a minority have such high levels of input and so many opportunities to voice concerns. That was one of our goals from the start. So hats off to our chairs for delivering on that promise.”

In addition to recognizing the work of coalition committee chairs, Tom and Schoesler also applauded the work of Sens. Brian Hatfield and Steve Hobbs, Democrats who chair policy committees, but caucus with the minority.

“These guys have really stepped up as leaders,” said Tom. “I’m glad to see some of my fellow Democrats are willing to be part of the solution. People are tired of politics; they want us to work cooperatively on our most important priorities – jobs, education and the budget. We are committed to this new way of governing – an approach that isn’t about creating political advantage, but about working together to get important issues solved.”

Schoesler added, “I am also extremely pleased with the way Senators Tracy Eide and Curtis King are working together as co-chairs on Transportation.”

With the policy-legislation deadline past, the Senate’s focus this week is on fiscal bills at the committee level and voting in the Senate chamber for bills already moved forward by committees.