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Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Governor calls Special Legislative Session

In an announcement surprising many, Governor Inslee called legislators back to Olympia starting tomorrow, November 7, for a special session lasting for no more than 30 days. He is asking them to consider and pass a package of tax relief, worker education/training, permit streamlining, and transportation revenue, to secure a commitment from Boeing to assemble its 777x jetliner in Washington. He also made a commitment to a balanced and practical resolution to the fish consumption rate rule makinig which will have significant impacts on water quality standards for cities with discharges. Details of his announcement were issued in a news release.

At the Governor’s Tuesday news conference, he was flanked by House Speaker Frank Chopp and Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom. Both leaders were supportive of securing Boeing’s commitment, but refrained from agreeing that the Governor’s package was all ready to move forward – especially the transportation package which has been the subject of ongoing negotiations for months.

For cities like Everett and Renton, that are home to major Boeing facilities and supply chains and are poised to house much of the 777x assembly, this is welcome news. Other cities across the state that are home to other aerospace suppliers may also benefit.

All cities have the potential to benefit from a new transportation package that includes revenue for projects and maintenance, as well as additional local revenue and options to generate more for local projects or transit services. AWC sent out an Action Alert earlier this week asking interested city officials to connect with your legislators to again share your views. The timing is now ideal!

How and when the special session concludes is not yet clear. The Governor is scheduled to leave on a trade mission to Asia early next week, but that may be delayed. Legislators were already scheduled to be back in Olympia for two days of committee hearings on November 21 and 22, so they could complete work then or come back again in early December to address remaining pieces.

What seems clear is that the Governor and legislative leaders are seriously working together to send Boeing a clear signal that this is their home and Washington wants them to stay and grow here.

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