Washington Governor Jay Inslee visits with AbSci at future headquarters

Portland, Ore., Oct. 3, 2016 / The Columbian

Inslee in Vancouver

Inslee made several stops while in Vancouver on Monday, including: a ribbon-cutting at Clark College, a campaign stop promoting a biotechnology company and a conversation with The Columbian’s Editorial Board.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Editorial Board, Inslee said he’s confident that the Legislature is poised to fulfill its constitutional duty to adequately fund the state’s public school system.

“We have put $5.5 billion of new money into the education of our children,” Inslee said, calling it the largest investment the state has made and the reason he’s confident that the state will finish the job in 2017.

The governor said he hopes the state can solve the underfunding with an increase in revenue, but said it will depend on the state of the economy.

Inslee, whose moniker is the green governor, said he wants to ensure oil trains are traveling through the state safely, and that we’re protecting the environment.

“This is the most beautiful state in the country, and we want to leave it that way for our kids,” he said.

But he’s not supportive of Initiative 732, the carbon emission tax that will be on the November ballot. Instead, he mentioned the recently adopted rule by the state, which he championed, to cap emissions from the state’s largest polluters.

Business growth

Inslee also stopped at AbSci, a biotechnology company that is moving its headquarters from Portland to the new Hudson Building in downtown Vancouver. The company has 14 full-time employees and plans to add another 20 to 30 jobs. The company decided to relocate in large part because of a $200,000 commitment from Inslee’s strategic reserve fund, which helped build out AbSci’s new lab.

Inslee said the state of Washington likes to partner with genius.

“I wasn’t there when Bill Boeing did his seaplane or when Bill Gates was coming up with software programs. But I’m here,” Inslee told Sean McClain, founder and CEO of AbSci, on Monday.

AbSci developed a protein manufacturing platform that substantially reduces the production costs of therapeutic proteins and antibodies used in a wide range of medical treatments, including those for cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disorders, as well as hormone therapies.

To view the original version on The Columbian, visit: http://www.columbian.com/news/2016/oct/03/inslee-oregons-brown-discuss-replacing-i-5-bridge/

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