(1) Economic development and in particular international trade, tourism, and investment have become increasingly important to Washington, affecting the state's employment, revenues, and general economic well-being. Additionally, economic trends are rapidly changing and the international marketplace has become increasingly competitive as states and countries seek to improve and safeguard their own economic well-being. The purpose of the legislative committee on economic development and international relations is to provide responsive and consistent involvement by the legislature in economic development to maintain a healthy state economy and to provide employment opportunities to Washington residents.
(2) There is created a legislative committee on economic development and international relations which shall consist of six senators and six representatives from the legislature and the lieutenant governor who shall serve as chairperson. The senate members of the committee shall be appointed by the president of the senate and the house members of the committee shall be appointed by the speaker of the house. Not more than three members from each house shall be from the same political party. Vacancies occurring shall be filled by the appointing authority.