Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Full Room for Chamber's Leg Day 2

It was a full room at the Chamber's second 2013 Legislative Advocacy Day. Despite busy schedules during the last weeks of the State's regular session, Chamber members and Pierce County legislators met to discuss important business issues.

The completion of State Route 167 was the primary focus and Representatives Jake Fey (D-Tacoma) and Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) gave a brief transportation update. Fey suggested passing a transportation package and completing SR 167 would create jobs and help keep Washington competitive. Zeiger noted the greatest barrier to a transportation revenue package that would include SR 167 was an increase in “unnecessary taxes.” Zeiger described the 167 Completion Coalition as being one of the strongest coalitions in the state, but argued for more grassroots campaigning that included daily constituent phone calls to their legislators regarding SR 167.

Education was another hot topic. Legislators and members discussed a wide range of issues, from higher education and the University of Washington, Tacoma, to the McCleary decision, and current veteran education bills.

Members were also given the opportunity to discuss issues especially relevant to their business. Louise Bray of Schnitzer Steel asked legislators for their support on key bills regarding the heavy haul corridor and metal theft. Moreover, Monique Trudnowski of Adriatic Grill articulated how the implementation of the state’s new liquor tax has put a heavy burden on small businesses.

In addition to Fey and Zeiger, legislators in attendance included Rep Linda Kochmar (R-Federal Way), Senator Steve Conway (D-Tacoma), Rep David Sawyer (D-Tacoma), Rep Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard), Rep Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma), Sen Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma), and staff for Rep Cathy Dahlquist (R-Enumclaw) and Sen Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island). 

The Chamber continues to advocate on behalf of members and Pierce County businesses. Upcoming advocacy events include the Washington-to Washington, D.C. trip May 6-8 and the Chamber Luncheon Featuring the Legislative Session Wrap-Up June 14.

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