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Articles written by Rep. Joe Schmick


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  • Let Washingtonians be heard

    Rep. Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    It is with a mix of encouragement and disappointment that the Senate majority leader says four of the six citizen initiatives to the Legislature “might” have public hearings scheduled before the end of the 2024 session. But don’t hold your breath. We are now nearly two-thirds into a 60-day session, with only a handful of committee meetings remaining before adjournment March 8. Despite repeated efforts by Republicans asking for majority Democrats to hold hearings on the initiatives, we’ve seen no action on their part to let...

  • Kaiser Permanente's new rural pharmacy rules bad for consumers and our communities

    Rep. Joe Schmick|Updated Jul 11, 2023

    Growing up on the farm, I heard grandma’s sage advice in just about every situation imaginable. “A trouble shared is a trouble halved.” “This isn’t my first rodeo.” “Many hands make light work.” When hearing about Kaiser Permanente’s change in how its customers could get their prescriptions refilled, what came to mind was this: “It doesn’t cut the mustard.” Last summer, the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) and the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) voted to allow Kaiser Permanente to proceed with new rural pharmacy...

  • State payroll tax to hit businesses this summer

    Rep. Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District|Updated Apr 12, 2023

    House and Senate budget writers released their 2023-25 state operating budget proposals recently. It was a reminder that taxpayers have been very kind to the state’s coffers as revenue forecasts over the past few years have continued to increase. As a result of taxpayer largess and the majority party’s proclivity to spend every dime available, state spending has more than doubled over the past 10 years. Has our population doubled? No. According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management, the state’s popul...

  • Rural pharmacy rules bad for communities

    Rep. Joe Schmick|Updated Feb 21, 2023

    Growing up on the farm, I heard grandma’s sage advice in just about every situation imaginable. “A trouble shared is a trouble halved.” “This isn’t my first rodeo.” “Many hands make light work.” When hearing about Kaiser Permanente’s change in how its customers could get their prescriptions refilled, what came to mind was this: “It doesn’t cut the mustard.” Last summer, the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) and the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) voted to allow Kaiser Permanente to proceed with new rural pharmacy...

  • Public safety is paramount

    Rep. Joe Schmick|Updated Feb 21, 2023

    Various surveys over the last year continue to show public safety is high on the list of concerns for the average Washingtonian. It doesn't matter if it's someone living in Bellevue or s the 9th Legislative District. People are feeling less safe and less secure. According to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, crime numbers support the feeling of unease. Violent crime increased by 12.3% in 2021, murder by 6%, and aggravated assaults by nearly 17%. I believe much of the blame can be directed at Olympia...

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