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48th District Sen. Rodney Tom honored as top lawmaker
Sen. Rodney Tom, who became Senate majority leader after Democrat and Republican senators formed a bipartisan coalition ahead of the 2013 legislative session, was named winner of the 2013 Jim Matson Award by the Association of Washington Business on Friday.
Tom, D-Bellevue, and Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, who teamed up to direct the Senate’s work this year, will share the highest honor given by the association to a legislator. It’s named for the late Sen. Jim Matson, a veteran lawmaker from Selah who served on the association’s executive committee during the 1970s and 1980s, and recognizes a state legislator who consistently supports issues important to Washington’s employers.
The 48th District legislator offered this reaction to the honor, presented during the annual Association of Washington Business policy summit: “Our majority coalition set out to leave the chaos and gridlock to Washington, D.C., and focus on three things. One is to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy. Another is to build a world-class education system – when I said we would put education first this year, we meant it, and we did so at both the K-12 and collegiate levels.
“Also, we were determined to create a sustainable budget that lives within the means provided by the taxpayers. While agreeing on that budget took many more days than anyone expected, we moved ahead on all three fronts this year – and accomplished that with an unprecedented level of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans.”
He said he also shares the Association of Washington Business’s interest in making Washington one of the most business-friendly states “to attract and retain employers and the jobs they create.”