Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
News Conference--Next Steps for the 7E7
June 25, 2003
Good morning, and thank you for coming.
This morning we’ll talk briefly about the next steps to make sure we land final assembly of the Boeing 7E7. I will also review the remarkable Legislative session we recently concluded.
As you know, I delivered our state’s proposal to Boeing last Friday. The Action Washington coalition worked very hard. We put together a compelling, creative, and highly competitive package. I want to thank the coalition for pulling together and pulling out all the stops. This is a winning proposal.
The proposal is completed and in, but the work continues. The work may not be as visible as before, but behind the scenes we are doing all that we can to make sure Boeing chooses Washington.
We have been tracking media reports from other states. Our dramatic proposal definitely has the attention of our major competitors.
We will be working with both Boeing and its site selection consultant on more specific questions about the Everett and Moses Lake sites. We’ll have the answers because Washington is the answer.
We are confident that we will be among the finalists to build the 7E7 Dreamliner. And we are confident that we will win.
I want to again thank our Legislature for stepping up to this critical challenge in bipartisan fashion. It is about the future of our state. And we will not forsake the future.
Our efforts to make sure the Dreamliner stays in Washington were part of a highly productive legislative session. We showed Boeing that we mean business and want to keep our great companies. We passed a $3 billion tax incentive package, passed reforms to Unemployment Insurance, and passed Injured Workers’ Compensation reform.
We passed a budget that will help us live within our means but still serve the priorities of the people, especially health programs for children, pregnant women and the working poor. The budget funds vital services and fills a $2.6 billion budget shortfall, without a general tax increase.
We passed a transportation improvement package. This $4.2 billion package will make our roads safer and cut down on congestion. The improvements include significant funding for highways, transit, passenger rail, and ferries.
The $2.7 billion capital construction budget creates thousands of family-wage jobs—jobs building schools, higher education facilities, and prisons our state needs. Starting this summer, thousands of Washington families will benefit from those good jobs.
We also took action to preserve and protect the environment. We now have new tools to ensure water quality and quantity for growing communities. We have a new program to reduce toxic mercury levels. We passed tax incentives for bio-diesel fuel, and secured funding for the rescue tug to protect our coastline from oil spills.
And we took action to fight the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. State agencies will adopt a “preferred” drug list of medications that are equally effective but offer the best price. The state will save tens of millions of dollars and extend its purchasing leverage to the public. People over 50 and under 300% of the federal poverty level will be able to purchase at the same lower prices.
The Legislative session we’ve just completed was among the most productive on record. I am proud of our accomplishments. I again thank the 58th Legislature for putting the people of our state first. This year will be remembered as one in which the future of Washington was at stake—and we met the challenge head-on with decisive action.