Washington’s Aerospace Futures Alliance has named Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler as Legislator of the Year, during a ceremony this past week in Spokane at the 10th annual governor’s aerospace summit.
“AFA appreciates Senator Schoesler’s recognition of the economic benefits of aerospace in Washington State. He understands how aerospace attracts businesses to Western Washington and across the Cascades, and the value of creating family-wage jobs resulting in a net increase in overall aerospace jobs in the state, and the importance of filling the demands of the aerospace worker pipeline with skilled workers,” said Kelly Maloney, AFA executive director. “As an employer himself, Senator Schoesler speaks the language of business, and is a strong voice of reason at the state capitol.”
“There are things state government should do – and should not do – to keep the aerospace industry as a cornerstone of our state’s economy,” said Schoesler, a full-time farmer based in Ritzville. “This honor really belongs to our entire Senate coalition for its work to make our state attractive to aerospace companies, by offering stable tax rates, more homegrown workers with desirable skills, and sensible regulations.”
This year the Senate majority held firm against unnecessary and discouraging tax increases proposed by the governor’s office and the majority party in the House of Representatives. At the same time its members led the way toward historic investments in Washington’s public-education system – including a boost in funding that enabled the first-ever tuition cuts at state-run colleges and universities.
“Since our majority began leading the Senate in 2013 our priorities have been jobs, education and the budget – and by ‘jobs’ we mean creating an economic environment in which jobs are plentiful and businesses thrive,” Schoesler said. “A strong aerospace industry creates jobs while providing revenue that allows us to invest in education and keep tax rates stable. A bright future for aerospace bodes well for families and employers statewide.”