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Morning Wire: Session logistics, Rep. Adam Smith, DC insider panel

Regular readers of this newsletter will note I was absent last week. We’re migrating to 2x a month through the end of the year as things start to slow down. We’ll be ready to roll as the session comes together in January.

The legislature will host committee days next week with virtual meetings held all week long. Check the calendar to track some of the sessions lined up. And plan to join us at the 2020 Re-Wire Policy Conference coming up on December 10th for what has been called “the pre-funk event ahead of the legislative session!”

So happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading our stuff.

With help from Michael Goldberg

1. The logistics of the next session 

It’s possible the in-person portion of the legislative session will be held at St. Martin’s University this year. That is one proposal coming out of the legislature’s considerations for how best to re-convene in the 2021 legislature. They have to come together for at least one day to set rules for the session, but that could be it.

You can track down some of the possible logistical changes coming in the 2021 session. Expect more time for running bills on the floor, which means fewer calendar days for committee work. And, with each committee taking longer for logistics in its own right, legislators tell me to expect a much reduced number of bills to move forward this year than in previous 105-day sessions. 

2. US Rep. Adam Smith to keynote Re-Wire

Congressman Adam Smith is the chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee. It’s an important perch for the state, held by the Dean of the House delegation and one of the state’s more understated elected officials.

So, we’re excited and honored to have Rep. Smith with us to open our 2020 Re-Wire Policy Conference on December 10th. It’s an important transition period in America, with a new relationship set to unfold between the two Washingtons. Rep. Smith will offer his perspective on this transition period and what Washington State might see in it’s relationship with Washington DC come 2021. 

3. Keynote: A four-corner conversation on the budget 

Re-Wire’s Afternoon Keynote convenes the top budget writers from each of the four caucuses in the legislature. Sens. Christine Rolfes and John Braun, and Reps. Drew Stokesbary and Timm Ormsby will talk through their plans and visions for what looks to be the most challenging budget in a decade.

With the general session looming, this panel will explore the possible budgetary options before the legislature. Come with your questions and your insights to share as we will incorporate audience questions into the conversation.

4. Fiscal policy and Washington’s business climate in 2021

The fragility of the Washington State economy can vary by sector and by region. But, it’s clear that as a whole, our economy is on a precarious ledge with retail, aerospace, and health care sectors all facing challenges. What should economic and fiscal policy look like in the next session to keep Washington State from going over this cliff?

On the panel, “Fiscal policy and Washington’s business climate in 2021,” Lisa Brown (Director, Washington State Dept. of Commerce), Jessyn Farrell (Senior Vice President, Civic Ventures), and Treasure Mackley (Executive Director, Invest in WA Now), will discuss the options on the table, and where the conversation may go in Olympia next year.

5. Building a new relationship with the federal government

We have some of the Pacific Northwest’s most well connected DC lobbyists lined up to join us at Re-Wire. Chris Miller (Executive Vice President, Crossroads Strategies), Dale Learn (Managing Partner, Gordon Thomas Honeywell), Scott Nelson  (Partner, KL Gates) will discuss what a new relationship with the federal government could mean for Washington State, and will build on Rep. Adam Smith’s comments earlier in the day. 

With a new administration in the White House, a new federal/state relationship is likely to take shape. So, what could that new relationship look like, and what would that mean for the federal policies in which Washington State is so interested in? This session will give you a unique level of bi-partisan insight into this question. 

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