Schoesler to continue serving on budget, labor and commerce committees

Sen. Mark Schoesler will continue his long streak of serving on the Senate Ways and Means Committee when the Legislature convenes in January.

The 2021 legislative session, which starts Jan. 11 and lasts 105 days, will mark the 17th straight year Schoesler has been a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee since joining the Senate in 2005.

“I’ve taken great pride in serving on the Ways and Means Committee, and I’m pleased to continue doing so,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “Tax and spending issues have always been among my highest priorities as a legislator, and by serving on Ways and Means, I can provide a voice for families and businesses in my district and our state to keep taxes and spending in check, and I will strongly oppose creating a state income tax.”

Schoesler has been named the Ways and Means Committee’s ranking Republican on the capital budget, which helps fund construction projects for state government buildings, state parks and colleges and universities.

“This role will allow me to work with my fellow Republicans and lead Democrats on the committee in producing a list of worthwhile projects to include in the state capital budget for the next two years, including those impacting local school districts and higher education institutions like WSU,” said Schoesler, whose district includes the Pullman-based Washington State University.

Schoesler also will continue serving on the recently renamed Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee. He says he will continue advocating for regulatory reform and other issues that will benefit Washington’s job creators and working families.

“My years of experience in the business of farming have helped me understand regulatory issues, which along with workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are among the high-profile topics this committee addresses. I know how overzealous regulations imposed by government agencies can be as hard on employers as taxes. The more money and time you have to spend complying with rules, the less likely you are to prosper or even survive as a business owner, especially during this difficult period with COVID-19,” said Schoesler.

Schoesler said the labor and commerce panel needs to focus on shrinking and simplifying Washington’s vast, complex regulatory system.

“Washington’s regulatory code has over 196,000 separate regulations, which is more than all but five states. That should tell you there is serious need for reform – and this committee is the place to start,” added Schoesler.

Schoesler represents the 9th Legislative District, which covers all or part of Adams, Asotin, Franklin, Garfield, Spokane and Whitman counties.