By Cara Coon, Public Affairs Director
There is an energy about advocacy, meeting with lawmakers who are elected to make sound decisions on behalf of their constituents. GSI held its annual 2019 Olympia Fly-In on January 23-24, traveling with nearly 100 local businesswomen and men to advocate on behalf of our State Agenda and our region. We met with 19 legislators from throughout the state during five issue sessions and heard from three agency/department leaders: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal and State Budget Director David Schumacher.
Our sessions centered around transportation, economic development, the operating and capital budget, health care and our ever-popular Four Corners session, which features Democrat and Republican leaders from House and Senate caucuses. As always, our speakers were impressed with size of our delegation making the trek from Spokane.
Sen. Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens, 44th), Chair of the Transportation committee unveiled his plans for a package aimed at curbing carbon emissions while using those taxes to fund transportation-related projects – including bike and trail access – across the state. GSI will continue to watch the progress of this bill.
Education funding was discussed at length during our operating/capital budget session. While the court case around McCleary has concluded, funding the ongoing, elevated K-12 expenses continues to drive costs and are of concern to many legislators. Other budget-related items include paying to replace culverts, addressing salmon and Orca health and aligning a four-year budget (two biennium) knowing that we will likely see an overall slowing of our state’s economy.
Other issues that many of our legislators discussed and GSI is tracking include:
During session, we receive weekly activity reports from our lobbyist on the ground in Olympia. If there are questions throughout session or you have an interest in learning more about a particular issue, please contact Cara Coon, Public Affairs Director, at email@example.com or 321-3636.
If you weren’t able to join us in Olympia and would like to be more involved in our advocacy efforts, join us for the D.C. Fly-In in April! Members are welcome to register.