Gov. Jay Inslee today announced he is calling legislators to a special session beginning Thursday, Nov. 7, to approve a legislative package that The Boeing Company says will ensure its new 777X and composite wing will be built in Washington state. Inslee wants legislators to approve the package in one week.
“I am asking lawmakers to pass a package of legislation that will guarantee that the Boeing 777X and its carbon fiber wing are built in Washington state,” Inslee said at a press conference today where he was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, Boeing’s Ray Conner, chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In addition, Machinist union officials Tom Wroblewski, president, Mark Johnson, aerospace coordinator, and Rich Michalski, general vice president, joined the group.
“If we can do this in the next seven days, we can be certain that Washington’s aerospace future will be as bright as its past,” said Inslee.
Inslee spoke with officials from Boeing and the Machinists union earlier today when they notified him that they’ve reached a tentative labor agreement to be voted on next week.
The 777X package includes several proposals that Inslee, his 777X task force and other legislative leaders have been working on, including:
- A bipartisan transportation revenue package.
- Extension of all commercial airplane tax incentives until 2040 and expansion of the current sales and use tax exemption on construction of buildings to manufacture “superefficient airplanes” to include all commercial airplanes and suppliers of wings and fuselages.
- Education and workforce development investments to boost enrollments in aerospace fields at community and technical colleges, train workers for manufacturing of composite wings and complete the Central Sound Aerospace Training Facility in Renton.
- Streamlined permitting actions that will speed up development and expansion of facilities at large manufacturing sites around the state.
- Developing balanced, practical solutions that achieve water quality goals (also referred to as fish consumption).
“This is great news for every Washingtonian,” Inslee said. “Thanks to the good-faith negotiations between Boeing and our Machinists, legislators can finish the job to win this project. Everyone in Washington has a stake in what we’re doing here. Construction of that carbon fiber wing and assembly of the 777X wing would be a linchpin for our future economic growth and thousands of jobs.”
The aerospace industry in Washington generated $76 billion in economic activity last year. The 777 generated $20 billion in economic activity and supports 56,000 jobs.
More information about the 777X package is available here.