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Articles written by Sen. Mark Schoesler

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  • Two bad bills signed into law

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    Each year, for a session lasting either 105 days (in odd-numbered years) or 60 days (in even-numbered years), legislators gather in Olympia to introduce, debate and vote on bills. While many people focus their attention on what the Legislature does each year, there is one final and crucial step in the legislative process that happens – the governor decides whether to veto part or all of a bill, or let it become law. Since this year’s legislative session ended March 7, Gov...

  • Democrats push tax hike bill

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Jan 25, 2024

    It seems like every year the Democrats, who have voting majorities in the Senate and House, in Olympia introduce legislation to raise or create taxes, no matter how much revenue the state is already collecting from you and other hard-working taxpayers. The Ds are at again this session. The latest proposal from the other side of the aisle that should cause all of us to hide our wallets is Senate Bill 5770, the Senate Democrats’ very costly and long-term property tax increase p...

  • Legislative priorities this year

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Jan 11, 2024

    Monday featured opening-day ceremonies in the Senate and House chambers, followed by a joint legislative session in the House chamber on Tuesday for Gov. (Jay) Inslee’s final state of the state address. Because this is considered a “short session,” fewer bills will be introduced and considered than in last year’s 105-day session. The main objectives for legislators this year will be to create and pass supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets. For me and my...

  • Address COVID learning loss

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Oct 12, 2023

    As parents know all too well, many students suffered learning loss when schools were shut down or relied on virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This “COVID learning loss” has resulted in lower test scores from Washington students in recent years. Unfortunately, not every possible solution has been deployed to address this problem. One of my Republican colleagues, 8th District Sen. Matt Boehnke, wrote a guest column on COVID learning loss. It mentioned a recent ana...

  • Do you really feel safer?

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Sep 14, 2023

    Over the past few years, our state has witnessed a steady rise in several types of crime. This has caused serious harm in many communities on both sides of the state, and many Washingtonians continue to live in fear that their families and homes and businesses will be touched by crime at some point. One key reason for the crime hike is the state’s low number of law-enforcement officers per capita. Washington ranks dead last among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. B...

  • 'Gag order' issued on gas rates

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Sep 7, 2023

    For several months, drivers and businesses have had to endure the sharp increase in fuel prices since the state’s cap-and-trade program – or “cap-and-tax,” as I like to call it – went into effect Jan. 1. But consumers, especially those who rely on natural-gas furnaces for heat, soon will feel pain in their wallets thanks to cap-and-tax. The state Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission recently approved a request by Puget Sound Energy to increase its natural g...

  • UW cashing in on foreign students

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    Apparently, the Pac-12 wasn’t the only thing that University of Washington left behind for more money. As the state senator for a legislative district that includes two four-year universities (Washington State University and Eastern Washington University), I take great interest in our state’s higher-education system. I make it a point to stay in contact with the presidents at Washington State and Eastern and keep up on key developments at these campuses in Pullman and Che...

  • Pennies at the pump really add up

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Aug 10, 2023

    It’s been a tough week around the farm with equipment failures that have delayed harvest a few days. I’ll get back on track. But while repairs are underway, I can’t help but think about others who won’t recover so easily from hits to their budgets – setting them back further and further every time they fill up at the gas station or get a paycheck. Many of our friends on the West Side of the state disregard rural folks in communities like ours. We see this every session t...

  • Is it a lie or an 'ad lib'

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Aug 3, 2023

    There’s no question the governor misled the people last year when claiming his cap-and-tax scheme would add “pennies” to the cost of gas once it took full effect in 2023. Gov. Jay Inslee has a degree in economics, as he reminded everyone at a news conference last week. And, yet, he assumed oil companies would simply absorb the added cost of complying with cap-and-tax? Inslee came up with a new lie at that news conference, as part of a feeble effort to claim his scheme has n...

  • State capital gains income tax upheld

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Mar 30, 2023

    Ever since legislative Democrats passed a law (Senate Bill 5096) two years ago creating a capital gains state income tax in Washington, observers on both sides of the political aisle have been waiting for the controversial law to make its way to the state Supreme Court, where the court’s nine justices would decide whether the law was constitutional. Following a hearing in late January, the Supreme Court on March 24 issued its ruling, one that has opponents of this tax s...

  • Crimes increase; education decreases

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Nov 3, 2022

    It's no secret that crime has worsened throughout Washington in recent years, thanks to laws passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and a decrease in the number of law-enforcement officers in many communities. While we've seen a spike in many areas of crime, retail theft and other retail crimes are especially a problem. Retail crimes hurt not only stores and shops, but also consumers because these crimes force retailers to raise prices. The Legislature, the governor...

  • Inslee trading money for booster shots

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Oct 13, 2022

    I recently commented on negotiations between Gov. Jay Inslee and unions on the upcoming contracts for state employees. As I said before, while I don't fault the proposed salary increases for state workers under the reported deal during this time of high inflation – or even the $1,000 retention bonuses that some state workers will receive – I am very unhappy with one type of bonus that will be given to state workers, as well as how negotiations were done in secret. In case you...

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