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Working for You in Olympia

Senator Andy Billig of Spokane meets with the Spokane Regional Fly-In delegation in the historic State Reception Room.
Senator Andy Billig of Spokane meets with the Spokane Regional Fly-In delegation in the historic State Reception Room.

Last week more than 100 greater-Spokane community leaders made a three-day trip to Olympia to meet with agency representatives, staff, and elected officials to continue advocating GSI’s 2015 State Legislative Priority Agenda on behalf of the region. More than a dozen lawmakers, most from outside our region and in positions of leadership and influence, spoke to our group.

Why does this matter to your business?

  • Your membership supports our work to advocate on your behalf, lowering your cost of doing business, and bringing more dollars into the community.
  • We help create more direct and indirect jobs, putting more people to work who spend most of their earnings right here in the community.
  • Each new job means more money spent on housing, groceries, transportation, child care, entertainment and more – directly impacting your business.

Lawmakers were consistent about their desire to pass a budget and adjourn in 105 legislative days, and have been hard at it since Day One of the session rather than waiting until the last minute. Importantly, they repeatedly spoke to us about finally passing a transportation package that would include FULL funding for the remainder of the North Spokane Corridor. They made many references to medical education and supporting the efforts to have two independent schools. Currently there are more than 60 co-sponsors on the House version and more than 20 in the Senate — proof of their commitment to change the statute and allow another university to pursue accreditation. On Tuesday, January 27, I returned to Olympia to join others in testifying at the committee hearing in favor of this legislation.

We capped off our Olympia Fly-in with a grand reception at the home of Governor Jay Inslee. Both he and the First Lady attended and I was impressed that he was well-versed on many of our major initiatives. I had the opportunity to spend a good bit of time discussing with him some of the challenges we face in Eastern Washington in relation to competing for economic development projects, and why we need support for changes that can impact our results.

GSI’s advocacy efforts will continue through the legislative session and beyond, and monitor our legislators’ progress as this session progresses.

This year, at the end of session, we will develop a legislative scorecard, evaluating how our 15 Spokane Legislators voted on bills related to our priorities. We will also provide you with opportunities to contact your legislators and lend your voice to our unified message on bills that would have a direct effect on your business.

Want to know more? Check out these day-by-day reports of our Olympia trip:

Heading to Olympia

Spokane in Olympia Day 1: Budget, Transportation & Education

Spokane in Olympia Day 2: Health Care, Carbon Footprints & Collaborative Engagement

Spokane in Olympia Day 3: Governor’s Reception, DOC Discussion & Heading Home

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