What Does State Republican Senate Majority Mean for Orcas Education?

The State Capitol, where the Legislature meets.

By John Stang from Crosscut.com

Democratic state Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon have formally allied themselves with the Senate’s 23 Republican representatives to take control of the Legislature’s upper chamber by a 25-24 split.

The new coalition also released the details of a new plan for the Senate under which Senate Republicans (plus Tom and Sheldon) will control the flow of budget bills through the Senate’s legislative processes — just as the Democratic majority controls the same in the House.

Tom, D-Bellevue, Sheldon, D-Potlatch, and Republican Senate leaders announced the alliance Monday morning. “This is the sort of cooperation that people are hungry for,” said Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, and leader of the Republican caucus.

“We want to make sure we work across party lines,” said Tom, who switched parties to become a Democrat in March 2006.

Democratic Gov-elect Jay Inslee issued a written statement, saying: “Regardless of the structure in the Senate, I look forward to working with legislators from both parties to move our state forward.”

To read the full story, go to crosscut.com/2012/12/10/washington-legislature/senates-new-gop-driven

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