Association of Washington Business taps Schoesler as top legislator

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-9Sen. Mark Schoesler, who as leader of the state’s Republican senators had a central role in Washington’s historic 2013 legislative session, was named winner of the 2013 Jim Matson Award by the Association of Washington Business on Wednesday during its annual policy summit in Cle Elum.

Schoesler and Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, who teamed up to lead the Senate this year, will share the AWB’s highest honor. It’s named for the late Sen. Jim Matson, a Republican from Selah who served on the association’s executive committee during the 1970s and 1980s, and recognizes a state legislator who consistently supports issues important to Washington’s employers.

Schoesler, R-Ritzville, offered this reaction:

“This honor belongs to all of the Senate Republicans who selflessly put policy ahead of politics and shared the responsibility of governing to the point that members of the Democrat minority accepted our invitation to lead committees. In doing so we proved Olympia doesn’t have to be like the ‘other Washington’ – at our Capitol it’s possible for Republicans and Democrats to join forces and make decisions that are encouraging to employers, smart for students and considerate of taxpayers. We also showed that temporary tax increases can indeed be ‘temporary,’ which is important if the Legislature is to earn the people’s trust and confidence down the road.

“The fact that our Senate majority was out in front when it comes to jobs, education and smart budgeting – and is now leading the way on transportation – is reward enough. I certainly never expected to be put in the same league as Jim Matson, who was renowned for his support of business. As a farmer who makes business decisions every day and as a legislator who understands the value of having a strong private sector, being recognized by the Association of Washington Business is particularly special.”