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Morning Wire: Frockt/Baumgartner, McMorris Rodgers/Brown, Convening Panel

We prepare the Morning Wire with this question in mind:  “What news is out there that might affect Washington State, which is either not well reported or which might need to be bumped up a bit on our collective radar screen?”  So, this newsletter is our effort to curate a few things each week that we think are worth your time.

As always, I’d appreciate hearing about how we’re doing.  You can always drop me a note by replying to this email.  I’d appreciate your thoughts and time.

With help from Emily Boerger and Marjie High

1. Video: McMorris Rodgers & Brown on making Congress work

Last week, Congressional candidates Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown offered keynote remarks at the 2018 Inland Northwest State of Reform Health Policy Conference.

During remarks delivered via teleconference from Washington DC, McMorris Rodgers discussed the American Health Care Act as well as her desire to see increased choices and competitiveness in the U.S. health care market. Lisa Brown pushed for universal coverage and discussed improving the Affordable Care Act while slamming the idea of “repeal and replace.”

We put together a short video featuring some of the highlights from their remarks which you can view here.

2.  Re-Wire Convening Panel meeting Thursday

Planning for our 2018 Re-Wire Policy Conference is well underway! This week, our Convening Panel is meeting in Olympia to continue our agenda setting process where we will discuss the issues, topics, and themes of this year’s event.

In developing our agenda, we rely heavily on stakeholder input, which is why I am so thankful for our Convening Panel.  It’s one of the most politically diverse and thoughtful groups of leaders I have worked with.

If you have any ideas for topics or speakers on key political, economic, and policy issues of the day, email me here and let me know. Registration for the 2018 Re-Wire Policy Conference is now open at Early Bird rates. We’d be honored to have you join us.

3.  Sens. Baumgartner and Frockt spar on elections

There were some lively discussions this week at the 2018 Inland Northwest State of Reform Health Policy Conference. In addition to health policy, Sens. Michael Baumgartner and David Frockt, offered their takes on the upcoming election and what predictions of a “blue wave” might mean for Washington.

Sen. Baumgartner opined that several key races were not as close as initial primary returns indicated, including the contentious US 5th CD between McMorris Rodgers and Brown. Combined with the added draw to Republicans of three hot-button initiatives, the wave will be more of a gentle lap. Sen. Frockt responded in good-natured banter, “This will come as no surprise to many of you, but I disagree with all of that.”

4. News from the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit

Last week, climate leaders from around the world met for the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. During the three-day event, several participating leaders from Washington State announced new commitments and collaborations focused on the clean energy economy and reducing carbon emissions.

Gov. Inslee was a prominent participant throughout the summit. While there, he officially assumed the role as co-chair of the Under2 Coalition for North America, and signed an agreement with representatives from the United Kingdom related to zero-emission vehicles. Washington State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz participated in the summit where she announced a collaboration focused on forest resilience. A team from Microsoft was also in attendance where they announced the new tools and pilot programs to reduce their environmental impact.

5. New Appointees to council of economic advisors

The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors grew by four this week as Governor Inslee announced new appointments. The choices bring a variety of backgrounds and expertise to the group that advises the governor on state budget, tax policy, the issuance of debt and debt management, cash management, and other fiscal matters.

The new members include Justin Marlowe, from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance who specializes in public finance, Desmond O’Rourke, from Pullman, WA, an agricultural economist and owner of Belrose, Inc., Nina Sidneva, with over 15 years of experience in the energy sector, and Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere Real Estate since 2015. The appointees serve no specific term, but serve at the pleasure of the governor.