South King County leaders get behind-the-scenes look in Olympia

This year’s class of the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound learned the legislative process firsthand in Olympia as guests of Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, on Dec. 15.

Local South King County leaders heard from many people directly involved in developing, advocating for and approving state laws in the Legislature.

The program seeks to prepare local private sector, government and community members for civic and business leadership opportunities. The 12 guests who visited Olympia came from the City of Auburn, Boeing, Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care, Windermere, Auburn Youth Resources, and local chambers of commerce.

“It’s one thing to learn about state government from a textbook or by reading the newspaper, but another to head down the Capitol and see firsthand how the process works,” said Fain, who represents South King County and District 47. “By becoming more familiar with the legislative process our local leaders will be better able to advocate for the needs of our community in the future.”

The institute accepts students from Auburn, Kent, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Covington, Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila.

In the morning session the group heard from Fain, who was hosting the group in Olympia for the sixth consecutive year, along with legislative staff in charge of policy committees, bill drafting and legal experts in how the voting process works.

In the afternoon they also heard from Secretary of State Kim Wyman, current head of the Washington State Department of Transportation Roger Millar and the governor’s executive director of policy Matt Steuerwalt.

The event occurred ahead of the 2017 legislative session which begins on Jan. 9.