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New box store

CLARKSTON–US Foods is opening a new box store, CHEF’STORE at 810 Port Drive in Clarkston, Wash. CHEF’STORE will provide a convenient local shopping option for product and supply necessities. It will be open to the public seven days a week and no membership is required.

State income tax being pushed by Democrats

By Sen. Mark Schoesler

OLYMPIA–Senate Bill 5096 which would create a state income tax has passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee is most likely to come up for a full Senate vote. If the SB5096 is approved by the Legislature and then signed into law, it likely will end up in the Supreme Court, which has rejected similar measures in the past.

Gov. Inslee, “Tear this wall down!”

By Sen. Mark Schoesler

OLYMPIA–Out of 15 States that put up temporary fencing around their capitols, only five, California, Delaware, Minnesota, New Mexico, and here, have that fencing in place. Gov. Jay Inslee ordered the fence surrounding the Governor’s Mansion and up to the front porch to prevent the pubic from entering the grounds on January 6, 2021. I was meant as a temporary security measure, but even though there have been no incidents putting the Capitol at risk, the barrier remains.

Washington ranks last in number of commissioned officers

By Sen. Mark Schoesler

WASHINGTON STATE–There are several “police reform” bills sponsored by Democrats that would weaken law enforcement here. In addition, this State has the fewest number of commissioned law–enforcement officers per capita in the U. S. According to an FBI report, Washington ranked tenth highest in the nation for property crime for 2019, and sixth-highest nationally in both 2017 and 2018.

Democrats pass open carry bill SB5083

By Sen. Mark Schoesler

OLYMPIA–The Senate voted along party lines to pass Senate Bill 5038 which bans the open carry of guns at pubic demonstrations and on the State Capitol grounds, exempting federal, state and local law enforcement officers. Violating this ban would be a gross misdemeanor.

Senate passes Schoesler bill helping school districts

By Sen. Mark Schoesler

OLYMPIA–The Senate passed Senate Bill 5202 which will allow school districts to create a “depreciation subfund” that can receive a transfer of up to two percent of a school district’s general fund each fiscal year. This bill will provide another path for school districts to handle building-or facility-maintenance needs.

CSP contract renewal

SPOKANE VALLEY–Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to renew their existing Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract. Those choosing not to renew existing CSP contract, NRCS will determine any new application made under a CSP classic signup period ineligible for two years following expiration of existing contract per regulation requirements. Application for the Conservation Stewardship Program Classic are due March 31, 2021.

USDA Invests $42 Million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine Infrastructure

WASHINGTON D.C.–The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $42.3 million to help rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities. Rural areas are seeing higher infection and death rates related to COVID-19 due to several factors, including a much higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care, and lack of health insurance. The $42.3 million in awards includes $24 million provided through the CARES Act. In total, these investments will benefit five million rural residents.

Pomeroy Partners Programs in the Community LifeSkills for Middle School

POMEROY–Jessica Nelson at the Garfield County Health District has been implementing the evidence-based program LifeSkills for Middle School in 6th and 9th Grade. The 8th grade class received this program earlier this school year when Sarah Meyers implemented. The program includes lessons on drug abuse, media influences, peer pressure, coping with anxiety, stress relief, social skills, and more.

Bill to shield against ‘retroactive overtime’

By Sen. Mark Schoesler

OLYMPIA–The Supreme Court ruled on the Jose Martinez-Cuevas v. DeRuyter Bros. Dairy, Inc case which established exempting the agricultural industry from paying overtime wages after 40-hours per week was unconstitutional. A new senate bill, SB 5172, has been placed on the agenda to address if the decision will retroactively impact ag business.