Today's Winner: Boeing.
Make that $8.9002 billion.
After getting $8.9 billion in tax breaks to keep keep its 777X work in Washington state, Boeing's de facto lobbying shop, the nonprofit Aerospace Futures Alliance, got its own earmark in this year's supplemental budget approved by the state senate yesterday.
Page 31 of the budget, passed 41-8 in a bipartisan vote this week, says:
$200,000 of the general fund--state appropriation for fiscal year 2015 is provided solely to contract with the aerospace futures alliance to conduct research and development strategies to align the aerospace supplier industry with the maritime, automobile, medical device manufacturing, and other industries that share transferable workforce skills.
The Aerospace Futures Alliance represents the regional aerospace industry in Olympia—and both Bill McSherry, Boeing's current lobbyist, and Bob Watt, Boeing's former longtime lobbyist—are on AFA's board.
The nonprofit lobbying group's executive director is Linda Lanham, who pushes the aerospace agenda in Olympia—or "Keep Boeing in Washington" as the Puget Sound Business Journal once described her role.
Today's Loser: The Homeless
Meanwhile, the senate beat back an attempt by Democrats today to force a bill to the floor that passed the house with heavy bipartisan support earlier in the session and had bipartisan support in the senate's housing committee.
The bill would have saved a pair of small real estate transaction fees that help fund low-income housing programs; without the legislation, they're scheduled to sunset, costing the program $68 million in the next biennium.
The Democrats thought they could capitalize on GOP support for the bill—state Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver) helped craft a compromise version that delayed the sunset (the Democrats originally wanted to halt the sunset provision forever). And Benton, as we reported in Fizz this morning, dressed down the Republican housing committee chair, Sen. Jan Angel (R-26, Port Orchard), for tabling the bill at yesterday's cutoff session.
Democratic senate minority Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle), also on the housing committee, tried to force the bill to the floor today—a parliamentary move known as "the 9th Order" that allows any member to call for a procedural vote to pull any bill out of committee to the floor.
However, the procedural vote to bring the bill to the floor failed along party lines, 26-23.