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Morning Wire: Rep. Stokesbary, Topical Agenda, R-88

With November starting, we move back into the Morning Wire as a weekly newsletter. We’re gearing up for both our 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference as well as the 2020 legislative session.  So, we’ll begin to have more coverage for you from across Washington State politics and policy conversations leading up and into the session.

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With help from Emily Boerger
and Michael Goldberg

1. Rep. Stokesbary on allowing student athletes to get paid

Rep. Drew Stokesbary made headlines recently due to his bill to permit NCAA athletes enrolled at Washington colleges to receive compensation. The bill stalled in the legislature last session, but last week, the NCAA Board of Governors voted to allow student-athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness. Stokesbary believes the action resulted from pressure from state legislatures.

Reporter Michael Goldberg caught up with Stokesbary for a wide ranging, two-part conversation. In part one, Stokesbary reacted to the NCAA’s change of course and expanded on why this issue matters to him. In part two, he discussed the importance of states pressuring the NCAA and his approach toward achieving change quickly in a slow moving system.  

2. An update from Island County

A few weeks ago, Ron Muzzall became Washington’s newest state senator, replacing the recently retired Barbara Bailey. Muzzall now represents the 10th LD, which covers Island County along with parts of Skagit and Snohomish Counties. Michael Goldberg caught up with Muzzall in this Q&A to discuss his background, his outlook on public policy, and what he hopes to focus on in the upcoming legislative session.

Mental health care in Washington and the difficulties accessing care in Island County were among the topics discussed. We also spoke about this issue in depth with Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson, whose community recently celebrated the opening of the Island County Stabilization Center.

3. ICYMI: Re-Wire Topical Agenda

Putting together our agenda for the upcoming 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference is a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, while on the clock. We work through a process that begins with our Convening Panel, a group of political and government relations professionals from across the state.

We then put together a Topical Agenda that spans the full scope of conversations and topics likely to be teed up in the 2020 legislative session. We’re now curating a group of more than 60 speakers for you, which we will release next week.  

We’d love to have you with us on December 10th!  So, get your executive team registered to be with us next month!

4. What to make of the I-1000/R-88 campaign

On an initiative where both sides of the question are calling for a vote against discrimination, it is hard to know how voters will respond. Such is the circumstance of I-1000/R-88. I was on KUOW last week with Bill Radke to try to sort through some of the rhetoric to make sense of the ballot.

Typically, confusion in the messaging is good for the ‘no’ side. Spending is about even: the pro-side spent about $1.5m, while the anti-side spent about $1.2m. But, as I noted in August, the most interesting thing about this race may be how quickly a group of Chinese-American tech professionals mobilized on the issue, raising a significant sum of money in the process.

5. Q&A: Ryan Mello on dealing with gun violence

As Tacoma has faced an uptick in gun violence this year, Tacoma City Council Member Ryan Mello proposed a tax that would add $25 per retail firearm and $0.05 per cartridge of ammunition. It’s a modest proposal but one that has garnered significant attention beyond Tacoma among national advocacy groups.

In this interview, Mello discusses the policy roots of his proposal as well as the fierce opposition it has faced from the NRA. The council has scheduled a final vote on the tax for next Tuesday, November 12th. 

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