By Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville
The election this month of Democrat Manka Dhingra to represent the people of the 45th legislative district changes the landscape of the Washington state Senate, resulting in a return to one-party rule in Olympia.
However, it does not have to change the bipartisan way in which the Legislature has operated since a group of Democrats joined with Republicans in 2013 to govern by consensus, ushering in unprecedented achievements.
For the past five years, the bipartisan Majority Coalition Caucus controlled the Senate, while Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and governor's mansion. For measures to pass, members of both chambers had to debate, negotiate and compromise.
This process resulted in the passage of historic legislation, such as the first-ever college-tuition reduction, a $16 billion transportation package and a plan to fully fund basic education with equitable levy reform...