Olympia Fly-In Day 1 update

Olympia2017_webHere is a quick recap of our first day of the 2017 Olympia Fly-In, which includes a delegation of nearly 100 area business, community, and education leaders advocating on behalf of our region to provide a unified voice for our legislators.

The 2017 legislative session is becoming a busy season for legislators in Olympia. Sessions on day one of the fly-in focused on education issues as well as environment and water policy issues.

One of the major items of discussion regarding education continues to be the McCleary decision, which requires the Washington state legislature to fully fund K-12 education by 2018. Part of the decision stipulates that the state legislature must make measurable progress each year to fully fund education. Our sessions in day one showed that Republicans and Democrats are still at odds on finding a funding mechanism or a definitive amount to solve the McCleary funding issue.

Another focus regarding education is restoring Career Technical Education funding levels to what they were prior to 2012. The Washington State Council of Presidents recently shared with state legislators that Washington ranked 47th in the nation for college participation by age 19, at 36.7 percent, compared to the national average of 46.8 percent. This will be the biggest issue during the legislative session.

On the topic of the environment, there was a lot of discussion about continuing to fund the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force, as they have done a stellar job and were praised as a national model by our legislators. We have a big push to ensure water regulations are actually attainable by our businesses, who are already in the greenest state in the union.

Our delegation met with the following legislators to cover environment and water policy issues as well as education issues:

  • Rep. Bob McCaslin (R – Spokane Valley)
  • Rep. Larry Springer (D – Kirkland)
  • Sen. Andy Billig (D – Spokane)
  • Sen. Doug  Ericksen (R – Bellingham)
  • Sen. Steve Hobbs (D – Lake Stevens)
  • Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D – Seattle)

Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support:

And thank you to our Olympia Fly-in partners, helping us create something greater for the Spokane region: the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce.


Leave a Comment

Related Articles

November 9, 2023

Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the preeminent voice for business development in the Spokane region, proudly announces its participation in a collective effort with the U.S. …

GSI Joins U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Urging Congress to Protect R&D Jobs Read More »

Posted in: Public Policy

November 8, 2023

Nearly 500 people attended the 2024 Economic Forecast at the Spokane Convention Center. With uncertainty in the air, it was nice to see the data …

Economic Forecast Presents Risks and Opportunities Ahead for 2024 Read More »

November 7, 2023

By Joey Gunning, Strategic Growth Manager, Greater Spokane Inc. “We are on the cusp of unprecedented change.” Those were the words of Lightcast CEO, Chris …

Spokane Tech Transformations: Embracing AI and Shaping the Workforce of Tomorrow Read More »

Scroll to Top