Schoesler named to Senate Labor and Commerce Committee

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is joining the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee so he can advocate for regulatory reform and other issues that will benefit Washington’s economy and working families.

“This will be a new committee for me, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Schoesler, who added the position to his roster of legislative duties this past week, ahead of the 2020 legislative session that begins Jan. 13. He expects his lifelong experience in the business of farming will help in dealing with regulatory issues, which along with workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are among the high-profile topics the committee addresses.

Schoesler noted that the Labor and Commerce Committee received much attention early in the 2019 legislative session when the committee’s chair unsuccessfully tried to push through a bill that would ban hairstylists and barbers from being able to work as independent contractors using rented booth space.

“While we can’t predict if any heavy-handed, anti-business legislation like the independent-contractor bill will appear in this committee next session, I know a few things about how overreaching by government agencies through regulations 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 survive as a business owner, much less prosper,” said Schoesler.

Schoesler said he thinks the Labor and Commerce Committee needs to focus on shrinking and simplifying Washington’s vast, complex regulatory system.

“The fact that our state’s regulatory code has over 196,000 separate regulations, which is more than all but five states, tells me there is serious need for reform – and this committee is the place to start,” added Schoesler.

Schoesler will continue to serve on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which handles matters related to the state operating budget, as well as the Senate Rules Committee, which chooses the bills that move to the full Senate for voting consideration.

The 2020 legislative session begins Jan. 13 and is scheduled to last 60 days.

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