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State Legislator Profile: Washington State Rep. John McCoy

August 9, 2011
If you ask most people to name a few things about the state of Washington, the word technology is likely to wind up somewhere in the mix. However, the birthplace of Microsoft and Amazon.com is also a biotech heavyweight. Washington contains one of the world's largest life sciences clusters and is home to dozens of research institutes and some of the nation's leading public research universities.

[caption id="attachment_3696" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Washington State Rep. John McCoy (D-Tulalip) "][/caption]

The biotech industry in Washington employs tens of thousands of people with high-wage, high-education jobs and stimulates more than $10.5 billion in state economic activity. On average, wages for the science employees is more than $80,000 per year, accounting for $1.6 billion in state wages.

Washington State Rep. John McCoy (D-Tulalip) has long been a strong voice for his state's leadership in this industry. As the Chair of the House Technology, Energy, and Communications Committee, he has shown a special interest in expanding clean energy initiatives. A significant component of his work has concerned biofuels policy as a means of establishing Washington as a hub for this rapidly evolving field.

Furthermore, as an elder within the Tulalip Tribe, McCoy has led a number of successful initiatives that have established his tribe as a model for Native American economic development to sustain tribal community and culture. At this year's NCSL Legislative Summit, I had the opportunity to sit down with Representative McCoy to discuss biotech economic development successes and challenges that face his state and its many reservations: