Legislature Grants HSSA 15-Year Extension

What exciting news to receive (even if it was 1:09 AM Sunday morning), but our bill to extend HSSA another 15 years passed the 2019 Washington State Legislature. What an accomplishment for our team! We spent quite a bit of time this session in Olympia urging the passage of our bill, and particular thanks to Nancy Isserlis, Dave Vachon, and Frank Velazquez for delivering our message at hearings and/or directly to legislators. Apparently, the third time is the charm as this was our third attempt to get traction for passage, and we were able to do so with our legislative leadership. Our message about HSSA's return on its investment in the region of over $100 million in economic activity to date and hundreds of well-paying jobs, certainly helped elicit support.

We want to especially thank Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-3) who nurtured out bill through the Senate, bill sponsor Senator Jeff Holy (R-6) who spoke at hearings in favor of the bill in both the Senate and House, Representatives Mike Voltz (R-6) and Timm Ormsby (D-3) for co-sponsoring the House version of our bill, and Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-3) who in his leadership role in the House made sure our bill moved expeditiously through the House and made sure late last week it was pulled from Committee to the Floor for the final vote. All of these leaders played critical roles at critical times during tthe process and deserve our sincere thanks. If you are able to do so, please reach out and thank them for their continued support through to the finish.

We are going to celebrate this passage with a reception/party with everyone from legislators to community leaders who supported our effort. and to lobbyists whose organizations volunteered their help to us on a day-to-day basis in session. They were Becky Bogard representing Life Science Washington and Jim Hedrick representing Greater Spokane Incorported. Others representing Avista, Spokane County, University of Washington, Washington State University and the University District were also supportive during the session, signing in at hearings in favor of our bills (we ran parallel bills in both the House and Senate) or testfiying. More details to follow.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support of HSSA’s important mission in our community and region.