News, Updates & Resources for the Region
Olympia, WA | Jan 16-17
Brief Overview on Topics, including:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- The Columbia River Treaty
- Cascadia Innovation Corridor
- Carbon Tax
- Presentation on Invasive Species (PPT)
Dinner with Confederated Tribes of Washington
Senator John McCoy and Senator Maralyn Chase invited our delegation to a special dinner hosted by the Confederated Tribes of Washington, where the Governor spoke and we discussed the Columbia River Treaty and other issues with over 50 tribal leaders from across the state.
Senate Technology & Economic Development Committee Hearing
Sen. Chase, Chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee invited us to present on highlights of what PNWER is working on, especially in light of the Annual Summit being hosted this year by Washington State. Laurie Trautman gave a presentation on the importance of NAFTA to the state, Sen. Roblan described the unique Legislative Commission on Indian Services that the Oregon Legislature created to work with the tribes in Oregon. Nate Weigel and Matt Morrison gave an update on the regional response and perimeter defense program for Quagga and Zebra mussels, and Bruce Agnew spoke about the PNWER Transportation agenda, working toward a multi-state center of excellence for infrastructure finance, and addressing the policy challenges for autonomous, connected, electric, and shared vehicles (ACES).
Meetings with Legislators
We then met with the Senate Minority Leader, Mark Schoesler along with Senator Jim Honeyford and discussed the Spokane Summit, the Columbia River Treaty, invasive species, and NAFTA. House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen discussed the Spokane Summit, and Brandon Hardenbrook explained the two DHS grants that PNWER is working on this year, the post disaster drone assessment project, and the maritime cyber resilience project.
The delegation also met with Pat Sullivan, the House Majority Leader, and Sharon Nelson, the Senate Majority Leader and discussed the upcoming Summit, NAFTA, transportation issues, the PNWER dues, the Columbia River Treaty, and other policy issues. We met with the Chair of the House Transportation Committee Rep. Judy Clibborn about the importance of regional transportation issues - the Columbia River bridge, the Amtrak Cascades train, and the policy issues around autonomous, connected, electric, and shared vehicles.
We had the well known PNWER Pizza lunch for legislators, and had a roundtable discussion with legislators about their ideas for the Spokane summit. Rep. Jeff Morris gave an explanation of the LEHI program, and the recruitment process for this year’s cohort. The luncheon was followed by a Summit Host Committee meeting where details on the Summit were presented, and private sector representatives joined as well in discussions on Policy Tours, etc.
Meeting with Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib
The Delegation had a good meeting with Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib where he mentioned his trip to Alberta speaking on Bi-National trade, and he discussed the possibility of convening the committee he Chairs, the joint Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations (LCEDIR) during the Summit in Spokane. This would be a good opportunity to bring some new Washington State legislators to the meeting, and also include our international legislators in a discussion on NAFTA and the importance of US - Canada trade.
In the evening, we attended the Association of Washington Business Annual Reception in Olympia, and hosted a dinner for 18 LEHI Alumni legislators, and some of our LEHI sponsors.
Meeting with Greater Spokane Inc.
The following day, due to the great fortune of having Dan Kirschner as our Private Sector Co-Chair we were able to address a meeting of 75 key public and private sector leaders from the Greater Spokane Chamber of Commerce (Greater Spokane Inc). Senator Roblan highlighted the importance of the Summit, and the value to the private sector of being involved early to provide input into the process. He explained how significant last year’s summit in Portland was in bringing 840 key leaders from across the region to Oregon, and Dan encouraged the Spokane community to be involved and engaged as we plan the Spokane meeting. It was a terrific opportunity for us to meet the key decision makers from Spokane all in one place, and in Olympia only for that one day.
Boise, ID | Jan 18-19
- Meeting with Speaker of the House, Scott Bedke, and the Senate President Pro Tem, Brent Hill
- Meeting with Governor Butch Otter
- Idaho PNWER Council meeting
- Pizza Lunch with Legislators
- Legislative Hearings
PNWER in The Spokesman-Review, featuring PNWER VP Mike Cuffe and the fight against invasive species.
Idaho PNWER Council
As part of the visit, the Idaho PNWER Council held a meeting to provide updates and input on PNWER’s Summit agenda for the state. The Council was formed in 2012 by an Executive Order signed by Governor Otter to create a formal group made up of Executive, Legislative and Private sector leaders to come together to advance Idaho’s key issues in PNWER. The Council is is chaired by Lt. Governor Brad Little. Participants in the meeting discussed progress made on action items from the past Summit and key issues to focus on in 2018, including; NAFTA Modernization, Columbia River Treaty, Cybersecurity, Workforce Training, Transportation and Agriculture.
PNWER hosted a lunch for members of the legislature where over 25 legislators met with our delegation and discussed the upcoming summit in Spokane and the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute in 2018. Senator Roblan invited everyone to Spokane and encouraged them to provide input to the program since North Idaho is a key partner to spokane in the inland northwest region.
Following the lunch, PNWER took part in several legislative hearings.
The Capital visit was a great success and we were able to promote the Spokane Annual Summit to over 40 legislators, and a number of state agency directors.
The visit concluded with a special dinner at the Basque Museum for new members from the House and Senate, where Senator Roblan gave a talk on the benefits of PNWER. Max Black, former Idaho legislator and PNWER’s third President, also spoke about how his experiences in PNWER was the highlight of his legislative career.
Governor CL “Butch” Otter
Scott Bedke, Speaker of the House
Senate Pro-Tem Brent Hill
Juneau, AK | Jan 21-23
The PNWER Delegation meet with Governor Walker's Chief of Staff and Lt. Governor Mallott's staff and several legislators while visiting Juneau. PNWER President, Arnie Roblan and MLA Rick Glumac, BC had the opportunity to speak about the region and learn more about the upcoming legislative session in Juneau.
As part of the visit, PNWER delegates met with Scott Kendall, Chief of Staff to Governor Walker, Mike Narrave, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce and Barbara Blake, Senior Advisor on Tribal Issues and Fisheries for the office of the Gov. and Lt. Gov. During the meeting the group discussed the upcoming summit in Spokane, NAFTA, transboundary water and mining issues, and transportation projects. It was an opportunity for Parliamentary Secretary Glumac of new BC government to start a dialogue with Alaska on the important issues that BC and Alaska shares.
We were able to promote the the importance of trade between Alaska and Canada as well as highlight the Spokane Annual Summit to several legislators, Senate hearings, and state agency directors during our visit to Juneau.
Lunch & Learn (Watch Video here)
The delegation held a tremendous lunch and learn that was hosted by Senator Mia Costello with Alaska Legislators where Sen. Roblan and MLA Rick Glumac laid out their priorities for PNWER. There was a great discussion on the importance of NAFTA and ensuring a collaborative relationship with the region. Senator Roblan spoke about PNWER's 2018 Summit and the Jordan Cove LNG terminal being developed in his district to Alaska legislators.
Senate Labor and Commerce Committee Hearing (Watch Video here, starts @ 34:00)
Additionally, PNWER took part in a legislative hearing with the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee chaired by Senator Mia Costello. During the hearing PNWER showcased the importance of trade with Canada and the broader region. PNWER also highlighted workforce and innovation best practices that could be of interest to the state. Currently, there is a resolution in the Senate calling for 2019 to be the Year of Innovation in the State of Alaska and PNWER will provide testimony to this hearing in support of encourage innovation in the state.
PNWER delegates met with leaders listed below in Alaska to discuss a wide range of issues, including:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- Transboundary water policy between Alaska and British Columbia
- Innovation and economic development opportunities in AK, and the region. - Energy Policy
- Innovative Infrastructure finance task force
- Marine issues (salmon habitat & fish farming)
- Invasive Species
- Natural Resources
- Legislative Energy Horizons Institute (LEHI) alumni dinner