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Tag: Mark Schoesler


Sen. Mike Carrell dead at 69

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, has confirmed news that Sen. Mike Carrell died this morning. The Lakewood Republican was 69.

In a statement, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus said Carrell was surrounded by family and friends at the University of Washington Medical Center when he died at 10:35 a.m. of lung complications stemming from medical treatment.

Earlier this year, Carrell entered into treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a pre-cancer condition often leading to leukemia. He received a bone-marrow transplant from his brother last month.

Friends who were helping raise money to pay for his treatment posted on their

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Murray proposes capital gains tax to pay for education

Should 3 percent of Washington state residents have their investments taxed to pay for a public education system that serves everyone? Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray of Seattle announced Friday that he thinks they should.

Murray is proposing a 5 percent tax on capital gains to start in 2015, which he said would raise between roughly $600 and $700 million per year to help fund basic education and higher education. He would want to send the tax proposal to voters as a referendum so they could decide whether or not it should go into effect, he said.

The proposal is probably a non-starter, given that a Republican-dominated majority coalition in the Senate has denounced the idea of tax increases, and even Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has pledged not to raise taxes to solve the state’s budget problems.

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Gov. Inslee says a longer life for temporary taxes on businesses, beer do not violate his no-tax pledge

About 24 hours into his new job, Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters today that it would not violate his no-new-taxes pledge if the Legislature chose to extend the 3-year life of temporary taxes on service businesses and beer beyond their June expiration. The new governor’s remarks are sure to stir controversy even though he said several times he was not actually advocating a longer life to tax surcharges on service businesses and beer beyond June 30.

At least he isn’t proposing anything as yet.

What he said when first asked about temporary taxes was:

“So I

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Senate opening prayer takes aim at gay marriage

Invocation calling for a strengthening of marriage “as You ordained it, for our good and Your glory” has some Senate Democrats upset.

Minority leader Ed Murray, D-Seattle, has released a statement calling the Senate’s opening prayer, given by Jon Sanne of Olympia’s Calvary Chapel, regrettable and divisive.

 The loaded phrase “strengthen marriage as you ordained it” is intended as negative commentary about gays and lesbians, and has no business being included in a prayer before this institution.”

Murray said that the invocation is supposed to be inclusive and not a platform for political views.

According to the Seattle Times, Republican leader

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Lt. Gov. Brad Owen starting peace talks with state Senate leaders on Friday morning

The ongoing stalemate over who is in charge of the Washington state Senate may get sorted out on neutral ground Friday morning. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen says he is convening a three-hour session with leaders of both Democratic and Republican blocs that are vying for position in the divided chamber.

“It’s not my job to dictate or tell them what to do but I have some history and I have some ideas. I think they recognize I’ve been pretty independent over the years,’’ Owen, a Democrat, said by phone today. “I think there is a good possibility of working it

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Dems’ Sen. Murray says he’ll ask Lt. Gov. Owen to help transition Senate’s power to new Republican-dominated coalition

Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray says he is going to ask Lt. Gov. Brad Owen for help in sorting out an orderly transition of power in the chamber – as his caucus prepares to hand over reins to a new alliance of 23 Republicans and two Democrats on Jan. 14.

Murray also said late Thursday in a telephone interview that he is willing to give up claims to leadership offices in the state Capitol, leaving his caucus’ space to Sen. Rodney Tom, the dissident Democrat who along with maverick Sen. Tim Sheldon is forming the new majority caucus with the Republican minority.

Murray’s announcements were the latest turns in a strange, evolving situation in the Senate where Democrats have a 26 seats, Republicans led by Sen. Mark Schoesler have 23, and a new coalition led by Tom and Schoesler  is trying to seize power.

Murray’s offer to bring in Owen as peacemaker might offer an end to the unfolding soap opera over who is in charge at the Senate – and how the transfer of power will take place before lawmakers show up mid-January for a 105-day session widely expected to be difficult just because of the school funding issue.

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Senate Democrats’ leader Ed Murray says he’d rather be in real minority than accept GOP power-sharing plan

It remains to be seen what Senate Democrats will do about the power-sharing arrangement outlined this week by 23 Republicans and two Democrats, led by state Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom. With Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, also in the new Majority Coalition Caucus, the remaining 24 Democrats have not decided what their next steps will be.

That is what Sen. Karen Fraser, the Thurston County Democrat who chairs the Senate Democratic Caucus, told me yesterday afternoon. But it doesn’t look like Democrats are accepting the power-sharing terms laid out Monday by the new Republican-plus-two majority, which has offered to let

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UPDATE – Republican-led coalition takes control in state Senate

Senate Republicans joined by maverick Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon announced a new majority coalition today to run the Senate in January, calling their plan a bipartisan effort to share power in a cooperative way the public is demanding. Tom will serve as majority leader of the new Majority Coalition Caucus, while Sheldon will take over as president pro tem, presiding in the absence of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen.

The news came as perhaps a small surprise to Democrats, who had offered to share power under leadership of a 26-Democrat majority but knew an announcement was coming. Democrats’ leader Ed Murray called it a “take-it-or-leave-it” approach and it was unclear if the 24 remaining Democrats would agree to provide chairmen for the six committees that the new coalition offered.

Tom and Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said they agree with Gov.-elect Jay inslee, a Democrat, that new tax revenue is not needed to answer a Supreme Court ruling on the funding of schools. But the Washington Education Association quickly denounced the Senate power shift, calling it “misguided” and harmful to K-12 schools in a news release.

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