Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson on Friday issued the statement below following Senate Republican votes to fire transportation secretary Lynn Peterson:

“It has been clear from the start, the Senate Republican plan for 2016 was to attack our state agencies, attack our state’s public servants and interfere with the good work done by so many of our state employees.

“Instead of focusing on the state’s urgent needs, Senate Republicans continue to look for people to blame.

“Already Senate Republicans have launched a redundant and very expensive taxpayer-funded investigation into DOC, they’re blaming the Health Care Authority for rising prescription drug costs, they’ve proposed a bill to cut hundreds of jobs from the Department of Ecology and now they have fired a capable and dedicated public servant – someone they recommended unanimously out of the Transportation Committee less than a year ago.

“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – cut government, undermine government, under fund government and then complain about government.

“Washingtonians rely on state government. Senate Republicans rely on the failure of state government to win elections.

“Focus on our school kids now, save the politics for November.”