Recently re-elected 4th District Rep. Matt Shea has been chosen once again to serve as Republican assistant floor leader in the Washington House of Representatives, following House Republican leadership elections today in Cle Elum.
Shea, who was re-elected to his third term in office in the November general election, was first tapped for the position two years ago.
“It’s an honor to be re-elected by my colleagues to this leadership role. I look forward in helping the House Republican Caucus carry the message of liberty and putting forward solutions that will help get government out of the way of small business so that we can get Washington working again,” Shea said.
As assistant floor leader, Shea will help manage legislation and debate on the floor of the House, and will represent Republicans in negotiations with majority party floor leaders. He will also participate and provide input in House Republican leadership meetings, including legislative strategy and policy decisions.
Shea noted that in the past two years, he’s aided House Republicans in framing the floor debate on such issues as workers’ compensation reform, same-sex marriage, and budget and taxes.
The 4th District lawmaker says his experience as a practicing attorney in Spokane has given him the background to effectively advocate for and against issues, as well as to respond to arguments.
“A certain portion of my work as an attorney involves constitutional law and understanding both sides of the issue before formal debate takes place. That legal background is extremely beneficial in this leadership position as we prepare to debate issues in the Legislature. One of the parts that I really enjoy as assistant floor leader is being involved in parliamentary procedure and making sure our Republican lawmakers from throughout Washington have a voice on the critical issues of our state,” added Shea.
The Legislature is scheduled to convene for a 105-day session on Jan. 14.
A state economic and revenue forecast report earlier this week noted that Washington faces a budget shortfall of at least $900 million, despite a $2 billion revenue increase. Shea said he hopes the Legislature can begin working early in the session on balancing the budget, rather than waiting until the final days.
“The budget needs to become a priority in the first days of the session. Our state has a severe spending problem and the Legislature can’t afford to kick the can down the road any longer. Some Democrat lawmakers are once again talking about tax increases, noting that we have to address the state Supreme Court’s concern over education funding,” said Shea. “However, voters were very clear in this past election. They don’t want higher taxes. They want us to provide other solutions – mainly to prioritize state spending – and unshackle the chains of government from employers who create jobs. I look forward to helping House
Republicans advocate for these solutions. I’m very glad to be able to support the caucus and humbled that my colleagues have asked me once again to lead our state forward through these very challenging economic times.”
Also during the meeting, House Republicans re-elected Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, as leader. Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, was re-elected deputy leader. Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, will serve once again as caucus chairman. Newly-elected leaders include: Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, as floor leader; Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, as whip; and Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, as the other assistant floor leader.