Marko Liias to command Senate floor action

By Brian Soergel | Nov 16, 2017
Marko Liias

Sen. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, will lead Senate floor action as the majority floor leader in the 2018 Legislative session.

Liias represents most of Edmonds in the 21st District. The 2018 Legislative session opens in Olympia Jan. 8.

As minority floor leader last session, Liias served in a more reactive capacity for the minority Democrats. But since Democrats won a special election earlier this month in the state’s 45th Legislative District, they now hold the majority in the Senate.

This gives the Democrats – and Liias – the power to determine which bills will come up for a vote.

Liias also will continue to serve on the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, and will assume roles on the Senate Local Government Committee and the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee.

“Guiding legislation through the Senate is a powerful responsibility and a role that I assume with the utmost respect and humility,” Liias, 36, said.

“At the end of the day, what we do will determine the welfare of Washingtonians in communities across our state. It’s our job now to make sure everything that comes out of the Senate reflects Washington values and priorities.”

He added on his Facebook page: “After four years of gridlock and divisiveness, the people have entrusted Senate Democrats with the majority and a mandate to lead. It’s time to take bold action to strengthen our families, build our communities and safeguard against the dangerous policies we are seeing out of D.C. Let’s get to work!”

Liias was born at Stevens Hospital in Edmonds (now Swedish Edmonds) and graduated from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo. He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

For five years, Liias helped lead a small family business specializing in green residential construction. That business went bankrupt in 2008, when the construction industry was hit hard.

But his membership in the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce as a business owner made him consider public service.

In 2005, at age 24, he was elected to the Mukilteo City Council, where he served for two years. During his time on the council, Liias openly stated his opposition to commercial air service at Paine Field. That effort was ultimately unsuccessful, as in May of this year Propeller Airports, a developer, owner and operator of passenger terminals, broke ground on a new passenger terminal expected to open in 2018.

In January 2008, Liias was appointed to the House of Representatives after the departure of Rep. Brian Sullivan, former Mukilteo mayor and now a member of the Snohomish County Council.

In January 2014, Liias was sworn into the Senate office in his current position. He was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Paull Shin, who resigned for health reasons.

Liias also works as the city of Mukilteo’s policy analyst, a paid position he’s held since summer 2014.

According to Liias, he does not take a salary from the city of Mukilteo when he serves in the state Legislature.

“I take unpaid leave while I’m in the legislature,” Liias said during a Mukilteo City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 13. “I work with finance to include that in the budget amount for each year.”

Liias ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2016 after the retirement of Treasurer Jim McIntire. He lost to Duane Davidson.

– Mukilteo Beacon Editor Brandon Gustafson contributed to this story.

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