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Sound Familiar? Gov. Calls Boeing Special Session...in Missouri

Ashley Gross
/
KPLU
Boeing's 777 assembly line in Everett, Wash.

A team at Washington’s Department of Commerce is working to complete a lengthy questionnaire for Boeing as part of a multi-state competition to land the 777X assembly line.

Meantime, state lawmakers in Missouri convened Monday in a special session aimed at improving that state’s chances.

Does this sound familiar?

“Gov. Jay Nixon called a special session that starts today. Lawmakers will work on a plan to win over Boeing,” reported KMOV-TV in St. Louis, where Boeing’s defense division is headquartered, Monday.

Last month,Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called lawmakers into special session to pass $8.7 billion worth of tax incentives over 15 years for Boeing. Now Missouri lawmakers will consider a more modest package worth about a $15 million a year.

Does Missouri pose a real threat to Washington?

“Well, certainly not laughing anybody off,” said Alex Pietsch, Washington’s director of aerospace. “It is clear to me that this is a competition, and the company is serious about potentially taking this work elsewhere.”

More than a dozen states are said to be vying for the 777X work. Boeing has set a mid-December deadline for proposals. The Chicago-based company opened up the competition after unionized machinists in the Northwest rejected a long-term contract offer that included an end to traditional pensions.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.