2013 Solutions Summit Western Washington

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Bellevue Hyatt Regency
900 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA

Unable to attend?  Catch the videos from the conference on TVW:

WPC is proud to say our inaugural Solutions Summit was a success! We'd like to thank those who attended and everyone's hard work for making our state-wide policy conferences truly unique.

Click here for the Solutions Summit online folder featuring speeches and presentations our panel of experts made during our Solutions Summit.

We were excited to have our keynote lunch address be given by Scott Rasmussen.

Scott is the founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is a New York Times
bestselling author, commentator and national pollster. The Wall Street Journal calls Scott "a
key player in the contact sport of politics." Scott's bestselling book, The People's Money,
demonstrateed how the American people are the solution to budget issues, rather than the
problem. In 2003, Scott founded Rasmusson Reports and served as its president until 2013.
Within six years of its founding, Rasmussen led the firm to become the most vistited public
opinion website and most searched for source of public opinion data on Google.

Utilizing local and national thought leaders, each issue session provided insight and solutions for our state’s top policy challenges. We hope the sessions will shape the public debate by engaging media and policy-makers; prompting civic action by informing key business and community leaders, and civic minded citizens across the state. 

Bellevue Event Pricing:
Half-day conference: $80 (WPC member rate: $70)
Lunch only: $40 (WPC member rate: $35)

Conference Co-presenters

Women of Washington

  • Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
  • Building Industry Association of Washington
  • Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives
  • Discovery Institute
  • Eastside Transportation Associations
  • Greater Spokane, Inc.
  • Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
  • Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce
  • National Electrical Contractors Association
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Pasco Chamber of Commerce
  • Rental Housing Association
  • Transportation Issues Daily
  • Tri-Cities Home Builders Association
  • Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce
  • Washington Association of Health Underwriters
  • Washington Farm Bureau
  • Washington Retail Association
  • Washington State Medical Association
  • Washington Trucking Association
  • West Richland Chamber of Commerce
  • Yakima Chamber of Commerce


7:30am Welcome and Breakfast: Featuring Bob Moore of Moore Information & Sen. Rodney Tom, Senate Majority Leader

8:25am Health Care Session: Affordable Care Act - The Road Ahead and Impact on Washington State with Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute

9:15am Education Session: Focus on Washington's New Charter Schools with Principal Anton Kramer of St. Therese Catholic Academy, and Steve Sundquist, Chairman of the Washington State Charter School Commission

(Concurrent Sessions Begin)

10:15am Transportation Session: Importance of Infrastructure and Making Congestion Relief a Top Priority with Dr. Ron Utt of the Heritage Foundation and Sen. Doug Ericksen, Senate Transportation Committee

10:15am Government Reform Session:  Opportunities for Sustainable Budgeting and Open Government with Director of Government Reform Len Gilroy of the Reason Foundation, Sen. Andy Hill, Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and former State Auditor Brian Sonntag

11:15am Environment Session: Consequences of Trendy Environmentalism and the Promise of Free-Market Solutions with Eco-Fads author Todd Myers and Steve Sexton of North Carolina State University

11:15am Small Business Session: Is Right to Work Right for Washington State?
with Sen. Michael Baumgartner, Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co, and Dr. Eric Fruits of Economics International Corp & Portland State University

(Concurrent Sessions End)

12:15-1:30pm Keynote Lunch: Featuring Scott Rasmussen, Founder & President of the Rasmussen Media Group

Senator Rodney Tom serves as Majority Leader of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers who believe in budget sustainability, creating an economic environment where jobs are plentiful and small businesses thrive, providing a world-class education system through reforms and enhancements, governing collaboratively to protect our most vulnerable while prioritizing the needs of middle-class Washingtonians, and setting priorities for state government and holding it accountable.

Bob Moore founded Moore Information, Inc., a full service public opinion research firm with offices in Portland, Oregon and the Washington, D.C. area. Since then, Moore’s research has helped hundreds of clients win campaigns, sell ideas and develop communications strategies. The company’s client list includes organizations in every industry throughout the nation, from Fortune 500 companies and national political campaigns to non-profit organizations and local hospitals. Over three decades, Moore has grown his company into one of the leading – and most respected – national opinion research firms.

Dr. Steven Sexton is an assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental economics. With a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Sexton applies microeconomic theory and employs modern empirical methods to address questions related to sustainability challenges at the intersection of agriculture, energy, and the environment. His research has appeared in leading field journals and popular press around the world, and he is a regular contributor to the popular Freakonomics blog.

Scott Hamilton is the managing director of Leeham Co., which was formed in 1999 following the sale of the company he co-founded, co-owned and co-managed, Linkraven Ltd. Leeham Co. provides consulting services to the aerospace industry, including identifying business trends and opportunities, competitive intelligence and through Twelves Unlimited, company branding and marketing. Linkraven Ltd., founded in 1989, published the internationally-distributed Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report; and organized conferences in Asia, Europe and the Americas under the Commercial Aviation Events banner.

Anton Kramer is the Principal at St. Therese Catholic Academy, the first Blended Learning Catholic school in the Pacific North West. He has years of classroom experience in both the Edmonds and Kent School Districts. Mr. Kramer began teaching in math classes for struggling learners and grew to work with students with all range of abilities. He has always utilized a blend of computer and traditional materials to reach the diverse learner. As a former curricular leader and dean of students, Mr. Kramer understands the necessity of teaching to the whole child and the power of technology in assisting in this mission. He has led teachers in developing interactive lessons, implementing differentiated instruction, and identifying and fostering growth in all areas of student life.

Leonard Gilroy is the Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, California and several other states and local governments in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending.

Thomas Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). He studies health care policy and regulation. A former trial attorney, journalist, and sports broadcaster, Mr. Miller is the co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong For America and heads AEI's "Beyond Repeal & Replace" health reform project. He has testified before Congress on issues including the uninsured, health care costs, Medicare prescription drug benefits, health insurance tax credits, genetic information, Social Security, and federal reinsurance of catastrophic events. While at the JEC, he organized a number of hearings that focused on reforms in private health care markets, such as information transparency and consumer-driven health care.

Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., is the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Senior Research Fellow in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Utt is a veteran of budgetary politics in Washington, having served as director of the housing finance division at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and senior economist at the Office of Management and Budget in the early 1970’s. In 1977, he became director of economic research at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. From 1980-87, he served as associate chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Steve Sundquist is the Chairman of the Washington State Charter School Commission. He is active in the business and civic life of the Pacific Northwest through his involvement in a number of local organizations. Most recently, he was an elected School Board Director on the Seattle School Board from 2007 to 2011. He is currently a member of the Our Schools Coalition in Seattle. Separately, he is serving on the boards of Climate Solutions and Conservation Northwest, and is a member of downtown Seattle Rotary, Social Venture Partners, and Fauntleroy Church, UCC.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is President of Economics International Corp., an Oregon based consulting firm specializing in economics, finance, and statistics. He has taught at Indiana University, the University of Southern California, and the Claremont Colleges. He currently is an adjunct professor of economics at Portland State University. Dr. Fruits has been engaged by private and public sector clients, including state and local governments, to evaluate the economic and fiscal impacts of business activities and government policies. His economic analysis has been widely cited and has been published in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Doug Ericksen has been bringing hometown values and solutions to Olympia since 1998. After serving six terms in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 2010. Senator Ericksen represents the 42nd District, consisting of the Northwest corner of the state. Senator Ericksen chairs the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. He also serves on the Health Care, Transportation and Rules Committees. His legislative priorities include providing solutions to keep energy prices low, create jobs and enhance our quality of life.

Brian Sonntag was the State Auditor for Washington. Sonntag was first elected to public office in 1978 as Pierce County Clerk, working as the administrative officer for the Superior Courts. On November 4, 1986, he was elected to the office of Pierce County Auditor. Following the end of his second term, Sonntag was elected Washington State Auditor on November 3, 1992.

Andy Hill was elected to the Washington State Senate to represent the 45th Legislative District, which includes Redmond, Woodinville, Kirkland, Sammamish and Duvall. In 2013, Hill was selected as the chief budget writer and negotiator in the Senate and was the architect and sponsor of the 2013-15 operating budget that invested an additional $1 billion into K-12 education and held tuition rates flat at Washington’s public universities and colleges. Hill serves as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and is a member of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. He also co-chairs the Quality Education Council and is a member of the Joint Select Committee on Education Accountability along with the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Michael Baumgartner represents the 6th District in Spokane. He is the Vice-Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and also serves on the Senate Higher Education and Trade and Economic Development Committees. In his first year in office, Michael reached across the aisle to help write a bi-partisan budget and sponsored major legislation that was signed into law concerning regulatory reform to reduce costs for small business and a major reform to consolidate government agencies and allow for more contracting-out of non-essential government information technology services. Governor Christine Gregoire called Michael`s reform bill the “most significant transformation of state government in 20 years.”