State budget battles and Cougar culture in Seattle at Civic Cocktail, Feb. 4


SEATTLE CHANNEL FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 22, 2015 Contact: Lori Patrick, Seattle Channel Communications (206) 733-9764,

State budget battles and Cougar culture in Seattle at Civic Cocktail, Feb. 4 WSU President Elson Floyd and state legislators Ross Hunter and Steve Litzow join the conversation

SEATTLE –A contentious state legislative session and a conversation about higher education with Washington State University President Elson Floyd are on the bill for Civic Cocktail, 5:30 p.m., Wed., Feb. 4 at the Palace Ballroom, 2100 Fifth Ave.

From meeting the McCleary mandate to opening the state’s second publicly-funded medical school, education will lead the discussion at the first Civic Cocktail event of the year.

The first half of the program will feature State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48th) and Sen. Steve Litzow (R-41st) discussing issues the divided Legislature in Olympia will tackle this session, including meeting a State Supreme Court mandate to fund K-12 education, making sense of medical-marijuana laws, and moving forward with a state transportation funding package. And what about the stalled Seattle tunnel project, which has led to tensions between state and city officials?

Hunter is chair of the House Appropriations Committee (responsible for the state budget). Litzow chairs the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

During the second half of the program, Floyd will join host Joni Balter to talk about the role of WSU in helping to solve the critical problems that face our state, nation and world and the research university’s legislative priorities, which include building a new academic center at Everett University Center, which WSU assumed management of last summer. WSU recently announced its support of a state measure that would direct new revenue to education, including early learning and higher education and is exploring a partnership with Bellevue College to offer a bachelor’s degree at the Eastside college. Floyd will also discuss WSU’s plans to open the state’s second fully accredited, publicly-funded medical school in Spokane to address the state’s physician shortage, particularly in underserved rural areas.

A journalist panel, including Essex Porter who covers government and politics for KIRO TV and Crosscut’s Managing Editor Berit Anderson, will weigh in on the discussions.

Civic Cocktail offers an evening of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. Advance registration is recommended as these events sometimes sell out. Register at or call 206-682-7395. Advance ticket prices are $20 for CityClub and Crosscut members and $25 for non-members and at the door.

Seattle Channel presents Civic Cocktail in partnership with Seattle CityClub and Crosscut. The conversation is rebroadcast on Seattle Channel cable 21 and is available online at

Seattle Channel is a local TV station that reflects, informs and inspires the community it serves. Seattle Channel presents programs on cable television – channel 21 on Comcast (321 HD) and Wave (721 HD) – and via the Internet to help residents connect with their city. Programming includes series and special features highlighting the diverse civic and cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest’s premier city.

Author: Ross

I am the Director of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State. I formerly represented the 48th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives, chairing the Appropriations committee and spent many a year at Microsoft.