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Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 9, 2003
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gary Locke Accepts Draft Recommendations of Competitiveness Council II

Gov. Gary Locke today accepted the draft recommendations of the second round of the Washington Competitiveness Council, pledging to continue to focus on higher education and K-12 funding as well as other business climate issues in the coming year.

After initially convening the Competitiveness Council in 2001 to examine Washington’s ability to compete in the global economy of the 21st century, Locke reconvened the council in October 2003 to continue its previous work and address higher education issues to further improve Washington’s competitiveness. The council met twice before issuing its draft recommendations at its third meeting today in Seattle.

“I want to thank the Competitiveness Council members for all of their hard work in such a short period of time, especially on the need to harness higher education as an economic development tool,” Locke told the council today. “I fully agree with the key recommendations of the Competitiveness Council. I am already working to implement many of these recommendations – whether through executive order, agency directive or by working with lawmakers to get necessary legislation passed in the 2004 legislative session.”

The council’s draft recommendations include:
· Higher Education
o Increase access to the state’s public colleges and universities
o Improve efficiency of the higher education system
o Secure sufficient funding to meet access, quality, workforce training and competitiveness goals
· K-12 Education
o Refine and clarify the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), particularly regarding the Certificate of Mastery, which students will be required to complete for graduation starting in 2008
o Strengthen the state’s Learning Assistance Program (LAP) to stabilize allocations to school districts that need the most help
· Research and Technology Transfer
o Substantially increase state support for research and development (R&D)
o Provide tax incentives for R&D and commercialization
· Taxes, Regulations and Infrastructure
o Create additional statewide and local funding solutions for transportation problems
o Develop tools needed to continue the Priorities of Government (POG) budgeting process, pioneered by Locke in the 2003-05 budget, and ensure that this approach is used in the 2005-07 budget.
o Amend the powers of the Office of Regulatory Assistance to include establishment and monitoring of permit timeliness benchmarks for permitting agencies.
o Support the extension of rural tax credits for construction of manufacturing and technology facilities in rural areas

The governor thanked the council for its strong focus on education. “Higher education and research are very important to improving the social and economic health of our state,” he said.

Locke also stressed the need to refine the WASL to ensure that Washington students are well prepared to succeed in the 21st century global economy. “I am committed to the passage of legislation that makes clear, once and for all, to parents, students and the community at large, our high expectations for students when they graduate from high school, and also assures students appropriate opportunities to show they have met our high standards,” he said.

The council will issue its final report to the governor and Legislature before the start of the 2004 legislative session. The council will also meet during the legislative session to review progress on its agenda.

The Competitiveness Council comprises business, labor, education and government leaders from across the state. The council’s initial report, finalized in January 2001, contained recommendations for improving the business climate in Washington state. The council’s top recommendation was improving transportation, and, under the governor’s leadership, the Legislature passed a major transportation-improvement package this year and the governor signed it into law.

Locke and the Legislature have taken steps to implement the majority of the Competitiveness Council’s initial recommendations. Locke has implemented many recommendations via executive order or through instructions to his cabinet agencies. Legislators adopted many others in the 2002 and 2003 legislative sessions. The full progress report can be obtained at

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Editor’s Note: A list of Competitiveness Council II members is attached.

2003 Competitiveness Council Members


Kerry Killinger, Chairman, President & CEO
Washington Mutual, Inc., Seattle

Alan Mulally, President & CEO
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Renton

Judith Runstad
Foster Pepper & Shefelman PLLC, Seattle

Other Members

Tom Alberg, Managing Director
Madrona Venture Group, LLC, Seattle

The Honorable Ron Allen, Chair
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Sequim

Stan Barer, Co-Chairman & CEO
Saltchuk Resources, Inc., Seattle

Rick Bender, President
Washington Labor Council, AFL CIO, Seattle

Roger Boatwright, Executive Secretary
Washington State Building and Construction
Trades Council, Olympia

Phyllis J. Campbell, President & CEO
The Seattle Foundation

The Honorable Frank Chopp (D-43)
Democratic Speaker of the House
Washington State House of Representatives

Jon Clemens, President
Sharp Technology Ventures, Camas

Steve Davis, President & CEO
Corbis, Inc., Seattle

M.R. (Mic) Dinsmore, CEO
Port of Seattle

Bob Drewel, Snohomish County Executive

Charlie Earl, President
Everett Community College

Tom Fritz, Executive Director
Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane

Ron Howell, President
Washington Research Foundation, Seattle

Lee Huntsman, Interim President
University of Washington

Sally Jewell, CEO
REI, Inc., Sumner

The Honorable James Kastama (D-25)
Washington State Senate

Nelson D. Ludlow, CEO
Mobilisa, Inc., Port Townsend

Mike McGavick, Chairman, President & CEO
Safeco Corporation, Seattle

Scott Morris, President
Avista Utilities, Spokane

The Honorable Greg Nickels, Mayor
City of Seattle

H. Stewart Parker, President & CEO
Targeted Genetics, Seattle

Leonard K. Peters, Director
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland

Michael J. Phillips, Chairman & CEO
Frank Russell Company, Tacoma

The Honorable John T. Powers, Jr., Mayor
City of Spokane

Andrea Riniker, Executive Director
Port of Tacoma

The Honorable Barry Sehlin (R-10)
Washington State House of Representatives

Bradford L. Smith
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary,
Mircosoft Corporation

Sandra Schroeder, President
American Federation of Teachers Local 8045, Tukwila

The Honorable Sid Snyder, Retired
Washington State Senate

The Honorable James West (R-6)
Washington State Senate

John Zeglis, Chairman & CEO
AT&T Wireless, Redmond

Executive Director

Dick Thompson
Director of Government Relations
University of Washington

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