November 28, 2016
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Election update: King County GOP names Dino Rossi as top pick to replace Sen. Andy Hill

Dino Rossi could be returning to the Senate. Rossi, best known for his gubernatorial runs in 2004 and 2008, had previously served with distinction in the state Senate as an effective budget-writer and chairman of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Last week, the King County Republican Central Committee voted for three candidates to serve a one-year term to replace the late Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond. Rossi was the GOP's top choice, leading Toby Nixon and Joel Hussey. The King County Council will make the final decision from among the three.

Rossi said he's willing to serve for a year but that he is not looking to return to the Legislature long-term and won't campaign to keep the seat.

After a hard-fought election, the final result in the Washington Legislature's partisan split is almost unchanged. Democrats retain their slim 50-48 majority in the House after each party won two seats that had been held by the other.

The Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus still leads in the Senate, but by a smaller 25-24 margin after Democrat Lisa Wellman defeated Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island.

Among results announced last week:

  • Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, will keep his 5th District Senate seat after narrowly defeating Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, by about 540 votes.
  • The close race for Superintent of Public Instruction ended last week as Erin Jones conceded to Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater. Reykdal has 50.5 percent of the total to Jones' 49.5 percent.

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A Lack of Effective Training

Too many Washington kids are not college- or job-ready

By Steve Mullin, president of the Washington Roundtable

Students in Washington classrooms today will soon enter a job market bursting with opportunities. New research from The Boston Consulting Group and the Washington Roundtable projects 740,000 job openings in our state in just the next five years. State job growth over that period is expected to be nearly triple the national average.

Increasingly, Washington students will need a postsecondary credential -- such as a technical or industry certification or license, apprenticeship, associate degree or bachelor's degree -- to access the best job opportunities our state has to offer.

A survey of Washington Roundtable member companies shows a universal preference to hire Washington kids for Washington jobs. We have no doubt other employers feel similarly.

The challenge is this: Just 31 percent of the students who attend a public high school in our state go on to attain a postsecondary credential by age 26. Less than a third are prepared for the jobs of the future. 

That's not good enough.

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Supporting the Snake River Dams

Our dams support us; it's time to support them

By U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Following Judge Michael Simon's recent decision to require a full review of the Columbia and Snake River systems, there has been a movement to reevaluate what our dams mean to Eastern Washington.

Here in our region, the four lower Snake River dams provide renewable, reliable, affordable energy and act as a superhighway for barges to transport goods. As a community, we need to let our federal partners know that we want to continue to invest in and improve our dams.

Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking a public "scoping" period through January 17, 2017, providing an opportunity for Eastern Washington residents to voice their support for dams and the benefits they offer to the region.

Read the full op-ed from The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
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