BILL REQ. #:  S-1524.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Senators Kastama, Shin, Jarrett, and Kilmer

Read first time 02/18/09.   Referred to Committee on Economic Development, Trade & Innovation.

     WHEREAS, Chapter 232, Laws of 2007, states the legislature's intent to create the Washington state economic development commission to provide planning, coordination, evaluation, monitoring, and policy analysis and development for the state economic development system and to provide advice to the governor and legislature concerning the state economic development system; and
     WHEREAS, The Washington state economic development commission is required to develop and maintain on a biennial basis a state comprehensive plan for economic development; and
     WHEREAS, The state faces great uncertainties which increase the need for a framework to guide policy choices and investment; and
     WHEREAS, The state's innovation capacity will be the most significant determinant of future jobs, standard of living, and competitiveness in world markets; and      
     WHEREAS, The state's talent, investment climate, and infrastructure quality are three interrelated components of innovation capacity; and
     WHEREAS, Innovation should be integrated as a fundamental priority of all economic development agencies and organizations across the state, the private business sector, research and education institutions, and the nonprofit and philanthropic sector; and
     WHEREAS, Informed and sound policy development requires timely and high quality 21st century innovation metrics and performance indicators; and
     WHEREAS, Local business and civic leadership must be encouraged to create innovation strategies and ecosystems around strategically important industry clusters; and
     WHEREAS, The state has entrepreneurial growth opportunities in energy alternatives, electric car transportation, global health, advanced manufacturing, information technology, broadband applications, value-add agriculture, and service sector innovation; and     
     WHEREAS, The state comprehensive plan for economic development sets forth the following twenty-one strategic opportunities for the next ten years:
     (1) Enhance competitiveness by developing home-grown talent and attracting top talent from around the world by ensuring the state appeals to those who have a choice of where to live;
     (2) Strengthen the framework for the coordination of economic and workforce development through common definitions, coordinated planning at the regional level, and the connection between employers and postsecondary education and training;
     (3) Ensure that K-12 schools are preparing students for postsecondary education through a reduced dropout rate and increased graduation requirements;
     (4) Improve the output of the state's postsecondary system through increased number of degrees awarded, a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, and improved transition from secondary school;
     (5) Ensure that working adults can learn new skills and move up a career ladder through an expanded "reentry" pipeline that allows adults to shift to new careers;
     (6) Promote a new Washington innovation culture emphasizing lifelong learning, discovery, creativity, and entrepreneurship by implementing a unified comprehensive and collaborative marketing campaign with the Washington economic development commission, K-12, the workforce training and education coordinating board, the higher education coordinating board, labor, and others;
     (7) Facilitate job transitions and continue modernizing unemployment insurance to allow more time for educational experiences and to reduce the time between jobs;
     (8) Strengthen apprenticeship programs to support skills needed in national and state economic recovery programs;
     (9) Ensure that state-funded infrastructure investments support a strategic emphasis on innovation;
     (10) Provide energy, water, wastewater, and communications utility services that support innovation ecosystems by orienting programs toward "smart" infrastructure. Ensure that broadband technology is affordable and accessible to all the state's citizens;
     (11) Leverage federal spending to enhance the state's economy through congestion relief, improved freight mobility, improved connectivity, and rural access;
     (12) Enhance the state's air and marine transportation facilities by enhancing the efficiency and flow of container traffic and planning for an additional international airport in the state;
     (13) Provide adequate tools for infrastructure funding that use new and existing programs to support high strategic value investments;
     (14) Streamline regulatory and environmental processes to boost private sector investment and create jobs;
     (15) Compete for federal research and development funds in strategic areas across a broad spectrum of disciplines;
     (16) Expand the STARS program, matching state funds with funds from a combination of businesses, foundations, local communities, and the federal government with the guidance and performance criteria of the economic development commission;
     (17) Strengthen innovation partnership zones through linkage with the STARS program and integration of workforce and infrastructure funding resources;
     (18) Champion innovation by creating innovation awards to recognize outstanding entrepreneurial teams and the products, services, and processes they have brought to commercial success;
     (19) Emphasize performance and accountability by implementing an innovation dashboard to provide a real-time assessment of the state's innovation performance in the global economy;
     (20) Increase access to entrepreneurial capital, including seed financing and debt or equity funding for start-ups and entrepreneurs; and
     (21) Establish criteria for funding innovation projects and assemble a portfolio of recommended "innovation ready" projects; and
     WHEREAS, The Washington economic development commission used an inclusive process of public hearings, expert advice, and local innovation to develop consensus on the strategies identified in the plan and has secured the engagement of critical constituencies, including business, labor, higher education, research institutions, economic development authorities, and local governments;
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Senate of the state of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, hereby accept and approve the state comprehensive plan for economic development, "The Washington Innovation Economy," and adopt it as the state's economic development policy.

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