(360) 786-7604|Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov

Monthly Archives: November 2013

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    E-newsletter – Back in Olympia, trying to land the Boeing 777x

E-newsletter – Back in Olympia, trying to land the Boeing 777x

November 16th, 2013|

Landing the 777x

On very short notice, Governor Inslee last week called a special legislative session to consider a package of bills to ensure that the Boeing Company will build the new 777x and its composite wings in Washington State. There were three key parts of the package:

1. Extension of current preferential tax rates for aerospace manufacturing.

2. Expansion of workforce training programs, particularly focused on carbon fiber composite manufacturing.

3. A comprehensive transportation revenue package to increase investment in maintenance and improvements to our transportation infrastructure.

We passed legislation to accomplish the first two items (preferential tax rates and workforce training). I voted in support of both bills. While I am often skeptical of increasing tax preferences, this was an extension of preferences already in place and already proven to deliver $3 in direct revenue for the state for every $1 in tax break.

By landing the 777x production in our state, we retain 20,000 jobs from the current 777 line plus add 10,000 direct additional jobs with the new 777x. In addition, there are many more jobs retained and created from the downstream manufacturing suppliers all over the state, including the Spokane area.

We were not able to pass the third piece of the package, a transportation investment plan. This transportation plan is critical to Boeing and to the entire state. I remain optimistic that we will be able to continue negotiations and arrive at a bipartisan transportation package before the end of the year.

Team Billig needs you!

We are hiring for our session aide position. This two month job in our Olympia office during the 2014 session is a great opportunity to serve our community and learn about the legislative process. Here’s a link to the job description. If you are eager to join our team, please submit your resume and a letter of interest via e-mail to paul.dillon@leg.wa.gov.

Next Mobile Office

We’ve received excellent feedback during our first two 3rd LD Mobile Office events. This is an excellent opportunity to chat informally with your Legislators, ask questions, or provide input on issues that are important to you.

Please join us tomorrow at our third and final mobile office before the 2014 session:

Wednesday, November 13th
Northeast Community Center
4001 N. Cook
3:30-5:00pm (drop-in anytime)

Keeping In Touch

Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with questions or comments at any time. If you have feedback, I’d like to hear from you. You can reach me by e-mail (andy.billig@leg.wa.gov) or by phone at 509-209-2427.

And if you know someone who would like to get their own copy of my weekly e-newsletter, please send them to my website at http://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/billig/and click on the link to “Sign up for my e-newsletter” – I’ll be glad to keep them in the loop!

Onward!

Andy

E-newsletter – What is the best investment in education?

November 4th, 2013|

Early learning: Our best investment
The data is clear and there is wide agreement that the best investment for the educational success of Washington State’s children is high quality early learning.
Last session, one of my priority bills was SB 5595, which among other things, created a task force to figure out how to better align the state’s two most impactful early learning programs, ECEAP and Working Connections. The goal is to increase quality and, where appropriate, make the two programs seamless for kids, families, and providers.
I am co-chairing this task force along with Representative Maureen Walsh from Walla Walla. The task force includes parents, providers, and other early learning experts.
We have had three meetings so far and will complete a report with legislative recommendations before the 2014 session begins.
Dr. Beck Taylor, the president of Whitworth University, had acolumn in yesterday’s Spokesman-Review on this very topic, writing that in addition to the value to each individual child, early learning also delivers for our economy. “Every $1 that we invest [in early learning] today results in roughly $2 in sales of goods and services to Washington businesses; this rate of investment outperforms that in other sectors like construction, transportation and manufacturing.”
The ultimate goal is to help kids succeed in school and in life. The work of our task force will drive us toward that goal by making high quality early learning more accessible and easier to use for the families and children that need it most.

Thank you Rep. Larry Crouse
Rep. Larry Crouse from the neighboring 4th District announced that he is stepping down from the House of Representatives due to family health concerns. Rep. Crouse is currently the longest-serving Republican member of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Crouse is one of the legislators I worked with across the aisle most often. We did not always agree but I valued his thoughtful and collaborative approach to legislation. I was particularly appreciative that Rep. Crouse was one of the few members of his caucus to support my first big bill, which helped prevent toxic algae blooms in the Spokane River and in waterways around the state. As a freshman, I learned a valuable lesson in bipartisanship and legislative independence as I saw this veteran legislator vote for a bill he believed was the right thing to do over the preference of his party caucus.
I wish Larry well in the next chapter of his life.

Mobile Offices

Sen. Billig at mobile office

 

Thank you to everyone that showed up for the latest 3rd LD Mobile Office and to the South Perry Farmer’s Market for hosting us. We had a great turnout and I appreciated all of the questions, ideas and comments. This feedback really helps us to better do our job of representing you.
Please join us at our next mobile office:
Wednesday, November 13th  Northeast Community Center 4001 N. Cook  3:30-5:00pm (drop-in anytime)

Senate Page Program 
Each regular session, the Senate Page program offers an excellent educational opportunity to participate in the legislative process. Applications are now being accepted and due to limited space, interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
The program has been with the state legislature since 1891. Pages range in age from 14 to 16. They have one-week terms, beginning each Sunday.
Each Senate member is allowed to sponsor pages each session and I have spots available for the 2014 session. If you know someone that is interested, please have them fill out theapplication form. If you have any questions, email me back or call our Page Supervisor, Becky Gilpin at (360) 786-7572 or email her at becky.gilpin@leg.wa.gov.

Keeping In Touch
Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with questions or comments at any time. If you have feedback, I’d like to hear from you. You can reach me by e-mail (andy.billig@leg.wa.gov) or by phone at 509-209-2427.
And if you know someone who would like to get their own copy of my weekly e-newsletter, please send them to my website athttp://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/billig/ and click on the link to “Sign up for my e-newsletter” – I’ll be glad to keep them in the loop!

Onward!
Andy