OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday renewed a statewide military alliance in an effort to fend off the economic effects of planned personnel cuts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Inslee signed the agreement on the Washington Military Alliance, with more than 20 military and economic-development leaders attending the signing.
Inslee noted that as of 2012, the state’s military industry accounted for 136,000 jobs and $15.7 billion in economic activity.
“This isn’t just rhetoric,” Inslee said. “It’s numbers.”
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The group’s goals include protecting the state’s military and defense infrastructure, including the thousands of jobs tied to the industry throughout the state.
The group will serve as a policy adviser to the governor and other state officials.
“It’s really all about protecting the military assets that we have,” said Rich Hadley, president emeritus of Greater Spokane Inc., one of the groups that signed on to the agreement.
In a letter sent to Army officials last month, Inslee said that cuts at the base would hurt the economy.
Inslee also has challenged an Army economic analysis that found the state would lose just $17.4 million in tax revenue through 2020.
He says the figure could be four times that.