Schoesler elected to lead Senate coalition as Majority Leader

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus today elected Sen. Mark Schoesler as Senate Majority Leader for a two-year legislative term.

“I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for their vote of confidence and am eager to continue working on solutions for the people of Washington,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville, “It’s time to govern and roll up our sleeves to find a better way to improve job growth, fund and reform education and make college more affordable. Our focus as a coalition has always been to put people above politics.”

Schoesler took time to honor what he called ‘the vision and leadership’ of former Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue. “Rodney knew this state would be better off with a Senate coalition that protected taxpayers and reset priorities in Olympia,” said Schoesler, “He led the charge to do something that had never been done before in the state Senate – to bring Democrats and Republicans together under shared goals and ideals. It worked and the people of Washington like the results.”

Sen. Schoesler had previously served as Republican Leader with Sen. Tom as the Majority Leader for the Majority Coalition Caucus during the 2013 and 2014 legislative term.

As majority leader, Schoesler is the caucus spokesperson on legislative policy matters, represents the caucus with the governor and other elected officials, and implements general legislative policies and priorities that reflect the views of the caucus. He also serves as the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Rules Committee and chairs the committee that assigns Senate Republicans to their various committee positions.

Schoesler was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and after six terms the 9th Legislative District voters sent him to the Senate in 2006. During his time in the Senate he has served in leadership positions as the Senate Republican whip, Republican floor leader and as the Republican Leader in 2013 and 2014. He is a member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and served as part of the Senate Republican budget negotiating team in 2011 and 2012.

The Majority Coalition also elected other members of their leadership team during their customary biennial reorganization meeting.

Caucus Chair – Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, Wenatchee. Parlette has served in this role since 2006. As caucus chair she calls the caucus into session, sets the agenda for and presides over caucus meetings, serves as ranking Republican on the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee and represents the caucus on operational matters.

Floor Leader – Sen. Joe Fain, Auburn. In this role Fain will coordinate the caucus’s floor action, serve on the Senate Rules Committee and represent the caucus on procedural matters.

Whip – Sen. Ann Rivers, La Center. In her position as whip, Rivers will act as a point of contact for the location of members during floor sessions and count votes on key legislation.

Deputy Leader – Sen. John Braun, Centralia. In this role Braun will assist the caucus leader in communicating the caucus’s legislative goals, policies, issues and priorities.

Caucus Vice Chair – Sen. Jan Angel, Port Orchard. In this role Angel will assist the caucus chair and preside over caucus meetings in her absence, and act as a liaison between ranking members on the various Senate committees and caucus leadership.

Deputy Floor Leader – Sen. Jim Honeyford, Sunnyside. In this role, Honeyford assists the floor leader in his duties and helps the floor leader and whip coordinate procedural votes with members.

Deputy Whip – Senator-elect Mark Miloscia, Federal Way. In this role Miloscia will act as backup to the whip and monitors attendance during floor sessions and caucus meetings

Senate President Pro Tempore – Sen. Tim Sheldon, Potlatch.

Senate Vice President Pro Tempore – Sen. Sharon Brown, Kennewick.

The 2015 legislative session begins Monday, Jan. 12 and will last 105 days.