The 2020 Washington legislative session got underway Monday in Olympia. For senator Mark Schoesler, a Ritzville area wheat farmer, he said his push this short session when it comes to agriculture is “do no harm”
He said he’s concerned that several proposals and ideas will have a negative impact on rural Washingtonians. For example, he pointed out Governor Jay Inslee’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Proposal.
“Let’s look at a potential of over 50 cents a gallon on heating oil, dyed diesel and fuels to the people that can’t pass on the costs. Then you look at the lower income nature of many of our neighbors in rural countries. They’re being taxed without getting any roads, irregardless of their ability to pay.”
Schoesler said he’s hopeful farming will not be targeted this year the way it was last session. He added 2019 was one of the most hostile years agriculture faced in his 28 sessions.
“I think that our groups in agriculture and our chambers, like the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Clarkston Chamber of Commerce, Pullman Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, did a good job of educating some of our colleagues. But I think there’s a lot of pressure from radical environmentalists and union bosses to do things that really aren’t good for agriculture.”
Schoesler said it’s important that producers of any size participate in their commodity days when they take place in Olympia.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]