November 7, 2016
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Passages: Sen. Andy Hill, lead Senate budget-writer, dies of lung cancer at age 54



State Sen. Andy Hill, the lead Republican budget writer in the Senate, died last Monday of lung cancer. He was 54. Hill, who had previously battled cancer into remission, announced in September that he was again undergoing treatment. He is remembered for his dedication to public service and amiable work across the aisle, according to tributes in The Seattle Times and Olympian.

"This is a terrible loss, not only for his family and close friends but for the entire state," AWB President Kris Johnson said. "Andy was one of the brightest, hardest-working legislators in Olympia, and an outstanding example of what it means to be a public servant."

Hill was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, despite never having smoked. He battled it into remission thanks to cutting-edge treatment. A Microsoft executive and soccer coach, Hill's first battle with cancer inspired him to run for office in 2010. When Republicans and moderate Democrats took control of the chamber in 2013, Hill became chairman of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the lead budget writer. He was reelected in 2014 and was widely mentioned as a candidate for governor in 2015, although he eventually declined to run, telling constituents that he wanted to ensure his family came first.

He proudly brought his personal frugality into the job of helping write the state budget, the Northwest News Network reports.

“I’m the kind of guy who with toothpaste I squeeze the tube as absolutely empty as I can get it and then I cut it open and scrape out the rest,” Hill said in 2014. “I think that is how I would approach budgeting this year.”

Hill was known as a consensus-builder, mentor and family man, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. He held such influence and esteem in the Legislature that his death briefly brought a pause to the high-stakes battle for control of the Senate in which he wrote budgets, Joel Connelly wrote in SeattlePI.com.

"Andy Hill was one of the finest public servants the state of Washington ever knew," Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler said. "He deeply loved his wife and kids. He was passionate about giving back to his community. After his first recovery from cancer, he used his second chance at life to make Washington a better place to live. I am grieving Andy’s loss."

"Hill was a dedicated legislator who served with distinction," Gov. Jay Inslee said. "He was a strong champion for education and a compassionate advocate for people with disabilities. His voice in Olympia will be missed."

"He spoke often about how much he loved the people and communities he represented and how honored he was to serve them," said his colleague, Sen. Joe Fain. "He knew that we are faced with difficult and often partisan challenges, but he was always uplifted by the work of those who crossed party lines to solve problems."

AWB honored Hill's legislative work in 2014, giving him the Senator Jim Matson Award for his work across party lines to craft a responsible, sustainable budget. In accepting the award at the 2014 AWB Policy Summit, Hill said balancing a state budget is hard work.

“The easy way out is to raise taxes,” Hill said. “The hard way is to sit in a room with your Democratic counterpart and hammer it out line by line. We were able to change the fundamental trajectory of spending and we were able to do it in a bipartisan manner.”

Hill is survived by his wife, Molly, and three children: Katie, Allie and Charlie. A memorial service will be held at St. Jude Catholic Church in Redmond this Friday, Nov. 11. A reception will follow at Microsoft's Redwest F Cafe. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Hill's name to Cancer Pathways, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE), or to Dr. Jed Gorden's outreach to underserved communities through Swedish Medical Center.



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Focus on Sustainability

Boeing, Alaska Air lauded for leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

By Andrew McIntosh, The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Two of Puget Sound's biggest aerospace companies are working hard to cut emissions as part of the regional efforts to combat climate change, a new report says.

Boeing Co. and Alaska Air Group each adopted a series of small but important measures that can make a difference, according to a new Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce report.

Entitled "Bright Green in an Emerald City," the report lists dozens of examples of emission-reduction efforts at companies, a university and some non-profits.

Boeing and Alaska Airlines are praised for developing shorter, more precise routes for incoming aircraft traffic flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport... Every Sea-Tac flight using such approaches conserves an average of 87 gallons of fuel, and saves passengers nine minutes of flying, the Seattle Chamber's report said.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced with each of these flights equals to what a small car would use, driving all the way from Seattle to Minneapolis, the report added.

Read the full story in The Puget Sound Business Journal
The Risks of I-732

Collaborate, don't regulate carbon

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington state employers are proven leaders and innovators in energy conservation, carbon reduction and environmental efforts.

The record proves this is already taking place without a carbon tax, but rather through innovation and collaboration.

Washington's population has increased 43 percent since 1990 and the economy has grown 260 percent, yet carbon emissions are down 18 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

From small operations to large steel mills, companies have built sustainability and environmental stewardship into their operations, not as an afterthought.

Despite this solid environmental record, voters will be faced with a choice to raise the cost of energy -- the engine that keeps Washingtonians moving and warm -- through Initiative 732. It would put in place a carbon tax under the guise of doing what employers and residents are already doing -- lowering carbon emissions. But, it is not without risk to the economy, K-12 education and our low- and fixed-income neighbors...

Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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