OLYMPIA… Under a new bipartisan banner, Democrat and Republican senators in the Washington State Senate today announced the formation of a Majority Coalition Caucus to lead the Senate during the 2013 legislative session. Twenty-five state senators have committed themselves to the new majority group, including Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, who will also co-chair the Senate Transportation Committee.

“Transportation has always been one of the most – if not the most – bipartisan committees in the Legislature. That won’t change as we head into the 2013 session,” King said after news about the new Majority Coalition broke. “Ever since I came to the Legislature I’ve been looking for solutions that were fair and equitable for Washington citizens. It hasn’t always been easy, especially under one-party rule for so long, but this Majority Coalition Caucus gives us the chance to truly bring parity to the Senate. I hope it’s an example that others will follow as well.”

At a news conference held in the formal state reception room of the Capitol building in Olympia, Coalition members announced their adherence to a set of principles that will guide the work of the new caucus, including:

promoting job growth and a vibrant economy;

creating a sustainable budget and living within the state’s means;

providing a world-class education system through reforms and enhancements;

governing collaboratively to protect the most vulnerable while prioritizing the needs of middle-class Washingtonians; and

setting priorities for state government and holding it accountable.

“After an arduous presidential campaign and the subsequent gridlock in Congress, people are tired of partisan bickering and party infighting at the national level,” King added. “Here in our Washington, we have an opportunity to show our citizens that we don’t operate like that. In difficult times like these, when people are demanding reform and sustainable budgeting, members from both sides of the aisle can come together to reach workable solutions.”

The Majority Coalition Caucus has agreed that when the Legislature convenes next month it will form six committees with Democratic chairs, six with Republican chairs and three with co-chairs. None of the committees will have more than a one-vote margin between Republicans and Democrats.

The 2013 legislative session begins Jan. 14.

More From News Talk KIT