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Morning Wire: 11th LD Race, Jackson Maynard, COVID spread

Thank you to the Washington PUD Association for renewing their sponsorship of this year’s 2020 Re-Wire Policy Virtual Conference! The WPUDA has been one of our most supportive partners as we re-launched the Wire back in 2017. So, we’re very appreciative that they are sticking with us once again this year!

Thank you also to Michael Bell, Len Barson, Robyn Grad, Ginny Munn, Joe Beaulaurier and Juliette Schindler Kelly for becoming new supporters at the Wire in the last few days! We appreciate your help and support more than you know.

With help from Michael Goldberg

1. 11th LD race: Hudgins vs Hackney

In South King County’s 11th Legislative District, a general election contest is shaping up between longtime incumbent, Zack Hudgins, and attorney and community advocate, David Hackney. Hudgins is one of the House’s quiet but effective leaders, who has now served 18 years in office. He worked on Democratic campaigns prior to that going back to 1996 when he ran Kevin Quigley’s campaign in the 2nd CD.

Hackney believes the 11th LD’s shifting demographics and community needs have catalyzed a desire for change. Moreover, Hackney said that this race exemplifies a broader division between challengers and the State Democratic Party. He told the Wire that the State Party’s standards for gaining access to Data in VoteBuilder, an online database often referred to as “NPG VAN,” make it vastly more challenging for candidates challenges incumbents to reach voters.

2. Senate Special Committee on Economic Recovery

The bipartisan Senate Special Committee on Economic Recovery (SCER) convened its second hearing this week. Dr. Heather Boushey, President & CEO and co-founder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, said that Washington State policymakers will need to get a handle on economic inequality in order to reignite growth and build more functional labor markets in the post-COVID economy.

In the health care section of the hearing, Larry Leavitt, Executive Vice President for Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), noted that data from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange shows that special enrollment signups have increased by about 10,000 through April. KFF found that Medicaid Managed Care enrollment grew by 2.3% from March 2020 to May 2020. Nevertheless, Leavitt qualified that 2.3% data point by saying that the increase could likely be due to people staying within the Medicaid program rather than large numbers of new people enrolling.

3. Q&A: Congressional Candidate Jackson Maynard 

Continuing our interview series with candidates in the 10th Congressional District, reporter Michael Goldberg spoke with Republican Jackson Maynard one week before the primary polls close. Maynard currently serves as General Counsel of the Building Industry Association of Washington and formerly advised the Washington State Senate on transportation law for eight years.

Maynard said he is focusing his campaign on COVID recovery, which involves a three-pronged plan he calls HIT (Housing, Infrastructure, Technology). While he’ll be voting for President Trump in the fall, Maynard believe his platform is the only one which has a chance of attracting bipartisan support regardless of who is President. 

4. Back to school event this Wednesday

It’s hard to imagine that summer is half over, and it’s even harder to imagine what school is going to look like this fall. So, we’re super excited to be hosting an event with the Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools Denise Juneau tomorrow on what a return to school will look like.

Going Back to School: COVID and Education Equity” will feature a conversation between Juneau, Sofia Voz, National Director of Staff & Learning Practice, City Year, and Lesley Hernandez, City Year AmeriCorps Member at Concord International Elementary School. We’ll talk through issues related to equity, health, logistics and education policy in Seattle and in Washington State. The event is free, but you’ll need to register in advance.

5. A potential “Florida-like condition”  

Last week, experts warned Washington could be in a “Florida-like condition” if the state doesn’t take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The warning came during a Thursday press conference where Gov. Jay Inslee introduced a series of new restrictions on restaurants, bars, weddings, and fitness centers.

The Institute for Disease Modeling’s latest situation report estimates an effective reproductive number of about 1.16 in western Washington and 1.19 in eastern Washington. Though this is an improvement from the previous report which described Washington as being in an “explosive situation,” this is still among the highest reproductive rates since March.


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