Week in Review: January 12, 2024 - with Shauna Sowersby

Week in Review: January 12, 2024 - with Shauna Sowersby

On this week-in-review, Crystal is joined by Washington State government reporter for McClatchy, Shauna Sowersby!

Crystal and Shauna recount the terrifying details of a hole blowing out the side of a Boeing 737 MAX 9 midflight, the response by Alaska Airlines, and what steps the National Transportation Safety Board is taking to get to the bottom of the incident. They then shift gears and discuss Inslee’s final State of the State address, the start of the Washington state legislative session, and how $700k has been spent by the State Transportation Department on boulders to discourage homeless from returning to encampments. Finally, Crystal wraps up with a rundown of a Seattle City Council staff shakeup less than a week into new Council President Sara Nelson’s term.

About the Guest

Shauna Sowersby

Shauna Sowersby was a freelancer for several local and national publications before joining McClatchy’s northwest newspapers covering the Legislature. Before that, Shauna worked for the US Navy as a photographer and journalist.

Find Shauna Sowersby on Twitter/X at @Shauna_Sowersby.


RE-AIR: Evaluating the Role of Incarceration in Public Safety with Criminologist Damon Petrich from Hacks & Wonks

Alaska, United find loose hardware during inspection of 737 MAX 9s” by Dominic Gates from The Seattle Times

When Alaska flight 1282 blew open, a mom went into ‘go mode’ to protect her son” by Dominic Gates from The Seattle Times

NTSB focus on Boeing, Spirit assembly work after Alaska Airlines blowout” by Dominic Gates from The Seattle Times

‘The strongest state in the nation’: Gov. Jay Inslee delivers State of the State address” by Shauna Sowersby from The News Tribune

Leading WA lawmakers give media a rundown on their 2024 legislative priorities” by Shauna Sowersby from The News Tribune

Washington taxpayers paid nearly $700,000 for boulders to deter return to encampments” by Shauna Sowersby from The Olympian

Major Staff Shakeup Marks Sara Nelson's First Week as Council President” by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola

Find stories that Crystal is reading here

Listen on your favorite podcast app to all our episodes here


[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Tuesday topical show and Friday week-in-review delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.

If you missed our Tuesday topical show, we re-aired my robust conversation with criminologist Damon Petrich about the ineffectiveness of incarceration. We hope everyone listens as the pressure to double down on the punitive status quo intensifies. Today, we are continuing our Friday week-in-review shows where we review the news of the week with a co-host. Welcome back to the program, friend of the show, today's co-host: Washington State government reporter for McClatchy, Shauna Sowersby. Hello.

[00:01:24] Shauna Sowersby: Hi, Crystal - thanks for having me on again.

[00:01:27] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely - thanks for coming on. We have a lot to discuss. I think this week we will start with what has been dominating the news and is quite concerning to many. And that is what has followed from the Alaska Airlines flight that had a door plug basically fall off during a flight and cause a rapid depressurization, forced the plane to return back to Portland - it was on its way to Ontario, California. And my goodness, so much has happened in the aftermath. What happened in this incident?

[00:02:06] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, so what it appears like - kind of after the fact, after they've been given a few days to kind of look this over - was that, I believe, one of the theories is that the plug was not properly, the door plug was not properly put into place. They're not aware if it was even screwed down completely to begin with, if those screws were even there at all, or what's going on. But it sounds like a lot of those - if not most of those - flights have now been grounded so that they can kind of inspect that issue a little bit more.

[00:02:37] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, so all of the 737 MAX 9 aircraft have been grounded by the FAA. Initially, Alaska announced that they were going to ground them pending a maintenance inspection, which they had started and had already said - Hey, a couple of the inspections had already been complete, we're ready to fly again. The FAA actually stepped in and said - No, we're actually going to ground these - or the NTSB stepped in and said - We're going to ground them, we want a robust inspection. And they have decided to do that. And they actually don't have a time for return yet from that grounding - and they've learned more.

The nature of airplanes, airlines, as they're constructed, is it's not just Boeing. Boeing has subcontractors and suppliers that are also responsible for part of the assembly. And in this situation, Spirit AeroSystems, based out of Wichita, Kansas, is the subcontractor that is responsible for installing this door plug. And then Boeing in Renton is responsible for the final inspection of the component before sealing it behind installation and the sidewall. Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times is their aerospace reporter and has done a number of articles on this - useful to follow him and his reporting if you want to stay on top of this. But it just really seems, just like you said, that it seems pretty obvious that this was not installed correctly. Both United and Alaska in their inspections have found multiple problems associated with this door plug installment - whether it's loose bolts, some bolts or some hardware that may not be in the right place or missing - they just don't know what's happening. And this causes a lot of questions about the quality control of both Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems.

[00:04:27] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, all of this, too, is just so harrowing. I know you and I, before the show started, were kind of talking about the folks who didn't show up for that flight. I believe Dominic also wrote the article about - from the mother's perspective, who had to hold on to her child as the flight was trying to land an emergency landing. So yeah, I mean, this stuff - I'm glad that they grounded everything when they did. My own daughter actually had a flight out Saturday by herself, after Friday night had happened, on an Alaska flight. So we were kind of holding our breath for that and really glad to see the news Saturday morning that they had grounded all of those flights, but still - not something people want to be thinking about before they're boarding their flights.

[00:05:15] Crystal Fincher: Not something people want to be thinking about and also just another unpleasant incident for Boeing after their previous quite lengthy grounding of MAX airliners - following that software error that led to fatal crashes that took quite some time to fix. And kind of ironically, Boeing was also seeking a safety exemption for that other plane - had just requested it within hours of this incident happening on this type of plane. So there's still - looks like quite a lot to be determined, looks like the NTSB in its preliminary findings are really focusing on Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems. There was a question about an indicator light saying, you know, there may be something going on with the depressurization system that Alaska Airlines chose to - they followed up on, they saw it, they didn't seem like they quite got to the root cause of what it was, but they said - Okay, so we won't send these planes on long haul flights, we won't send them over water so that if anything happens, they'll be able to get to an airport quickly. Which on one hand, some people said, Why are they flying it at all? And on the other hand, people said, Well, that may have actually saved some lives, depending.

One thing that is absolutely clear is it's fortunate this depressurization happened at the relatively low altitude that it did - at 16,000 feet, instead of much higher up, which could have had this wind up being a very, very different and much more tragic story - if it would have depressurized at a much higher altitude or typical cruising altitude. And just more questions surrounding even Boeing and their training and preparation for this aircraft. One of the findings was, occurrences that happened was that when the depressurization happened, the cockpit door flew open, which Boeing says - Well, it's designed to do that, that's supposed to happen. The pilots didn't know that. No one on the plane knew that. And that also caused a checklist - this is important information that the pilots are dealing with - to just fly out of the cabin. So they're down information, trying to manage an emergency, one of the pilots' headset fell off or was sucked off as that happened.

Yeah, so I mean, this was a harrowing thing. Very, very happy that the injuries that did occur were relatively minor. But it does seem like it was a really traumatic experience. As you said, that article detailing the mother having to basically hold on to her son whose shirt and headphones had been sucked off. And then basically her seatmate holding on to her, as she's holding on to her son. The flight attendants - because of how they were positioned and the noise and everything - they knew that there was a depressurization, but they didn't actually really know that there was a gaping hole in the plane, which also delayed them getting to help this mom and her son. And she's staring out at the ground 16,000 feet below, trying to hold on to her kid - just, I can't even imagine. But this has certainly caused me to feel uncomfortable about flying on these MAX planes and just wondering - Okay, so they're inspecting all of this. Well, are they inspecting everything on the planes? Because I think there's a lot of people questioning - this is a quality control issue. What else may be escaping their attention?

So I do hope that we do get to the bottom of this. It does seem like the NTSB generally does very thorough investigations and inspections. They seem like they're being cautious and just their plan to deal with this - making Boeing revise their safety materials and warnings for pilots and airlines to reflect the reality of the situation that we know now. So this is quite challenging, but also - looking at having potential regional economic effects again. What does this mean for Boeing, who's one of our region's largest employers? What does this mean for Alaska Airlines, and potentially United, having to cancel a lot of flights? Just a lot of questions. But there has to be absolute confidence in the safety of air travel or else everything unravels from there. So we'll see how this continues to unfold.

[00:09:27] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, I'm really curious to know what's going on internally at Boeing right now. And, you know, if we're actually going to see any action on that front in the coming weeks as well.

[00:09:40] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And it does seem like Boeing initially is taking a little bit different of, is operating a little bit differently in the beginning of this challenge that it did initially in the beginning of the last MAX issue challenge. They seem to be stressing that they plan to be transparent, that they plan to be accessible, that they're trying to support their partner airlines, saying that they know they need to get this right and rebuild trust. So it is a different stance that hopefully, I mean, after learning how seemingly trying to cover things up or discount things before did not turn out that well. And that this is a real crisis. So yeah, we'll see how everyone approaches this and what the findings continue to uncover.

[00:10:28] Shauna Sowersby: I will be looking forward to it.

[00:10:30] Crystal Fincher: As will I. Well, here in the state of Washington - as we start a new year, not only is there a new start of the legislative session, which just convened, but also we get our annual State of the State from Jay Inslee, who has announced that he's in his final term. He will not be running, he is not running for reelection. What did he have to say in his State of the State address?

[00:10:55] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, it seemed to me like Inslee really wanted to highlight his last - he mentioned that this was his 11th State of the State that he's given, this will be his last one as governor. And so I - this one seemed to be highlighting a lot of the things that he believes are wins for Washington state. The one that comes to the top of my head is the regional training centers for law enforcement officials that they had opened out in Pasco - so to him, that's a really big issue. He mentioned climate issues, of course - talking about the CCA [Climate Commitment Act] and being proud of that work. Also brought up housing from last year and all the bills that were passed to increase the supply of housing. So he just kind of went through all the things over the last three terms that he's been in that he believes the state has done really well.

[00:11:49] Crystal Fincher: What was the reaction to his State of the State address, both by lawmakers in his party who are Democrats and by Republicans?

[00:11:58] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, I would say the Democrats are cautiously optimistic, it seems like. I would say - well, Laurie Jinkins did say that she is very optimistic. But, you know, it seems like some of the other ones are a little bit more cautiously optimistic about the things that Inslee is saying. Republicans - Jerry Cornfield asked them a question the other day, because he felt like they were kind of focusing too negatively on on issues. So he's like - Is there anything nice that you do have to say? And it seemed like there was kind of a struggle to come up with that, as they were listing out all these kind of other issues that they were bringing up - public safety and things of that nature.

[00:12:41] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, it'll be interesting. There are going to be a number of ballot initiatives that they're gearing up for that are going to be on the ballot. So they are certainly in a critical mood and are trying to ride that all the way through to November. But there are - agree with them or disagree with them - there have been some major landmark achievements under Jay Inslee. One of the biggest and most recent is the Climate Commitment Act, the CCA, which is raising quite a bit of money from pricing carbon, basically - trading credits that are trying to cap emissions and have that money be reinvested in policies and infrastructure that helps to do the same. We'll see how that turns out to be, what the results and progress of that are as we get more reporting and tracking of what's going on - but certainly a lot of cause for optimism, a lot of opportunity to make some significant investments and movements towards decarbonization, reducing pollution, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Talking about public safety - that center that had been opened - as many municipalities talk about wanting to accelerate hiring and recruitment of police and sheriffs. This adds to the capacity to do that. We've talked about it before, but some people don't know there's quite a bit of lead time - once you hire an officer, it's not like you hire them today, they're on the street tomorrow. They do have to go through a training, quite extensive training, policies and procedures. And so it can be and often is a year plus from the time that they're hired to the time that they are actively on - working for a police or sheriff's department - so that expanding capacity. Talked about mental health treatment and support there, expanding capacity. There have also been some challenges in those areas, which I definitely saw Republicans point out. But kind of as you saw him wrapping up his final State of the State, did you see him trying to - was he contending with what he might view as his legacy or what he wanted to leave people with? How did you read this final State of the State address from Inslee?

[00:15:02] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, I would say it was kind of exactly that. Like, hey, here's this reminder. Look at all of these things that I've done over the course of the last 11 years, 12 years. I feel like it definitely was written in such a way, or given in such a way, that it was to check all the boxes, show off all the things that he's done - understandably. There were a lot of good things that have been done, so why not show them off, I guess?

[00:15:29] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. He also did say that he saw two grave threats in the US and the state - one to just the basic tenets of democracy, part of the larger conversation. The other is about reproductive rights and women having reproductive choice - and called on the legislature to enshrine reproductive protections in the State Constitution this session, something that did not get passed last year. So we will see if they decide to heed that call this session or not. What do you see as the prospects for that?

[00:16:07] Shauna Sowersby: Well, Republicans have already stated that they are not on board with this idea at all. I think that's - it seems pretty unanimous across both Republican caucuses in the Senate and the House that it's just not going to happen. They believe that there's other issues that need to be taken care of. They - one of the things they always go to is - There's no threat to it here in Washington, it's already protected. Why would we need this additional measure? So they have very clearly stated that there is no appetite in their parties to pass this. And since this would be a constitutional amendment, it would require some Republican votes there as well.

[00:16:49] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Well, we talk about there being no threat, but we continue to see a number of Supreme Court cases that do have the potential to impact what we're doing here in the state and what's happening in other states - increasing demand, restricting capacity for what we're doing here in Washington state and what women have access to. So we will continue to follow along with that and see. But as you've been covering and have been talking about, our legislative session did start. There have been a couple of availabilities talking about priorities in this session. What are Democrats and Republicans saying are their priorities for this legislative session?

[00:17:29] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, it seems like everybody is on board with behavioral health and continuing that progress from last year. Of course, housing is on the docket for both parties. And what was it - even just on Monday, they already passed Rep. Barkis' lot-splitting bill off the House floor. So, you know, huge appetite to continue that work, it looks like. Public safety is another thing that I keep hearing from both parties, although I will say it seems like it's coming more from the Republicans than it is the Democrats. And those are some of the major issues I can think of kind of off of the top of my head. I know that the ballot initiatives from Let's Go Washington will also have, could have a major impact this year, too, on what the legislature decides to do once those are certified. They've talked about how they'll deal with them as they come to them. But that's also something - they need to need to watch out for as well.

[00:18:31] Crystal Fincher: So when we talk about housing - obviously, there was some pretty significant action and movement on housing last session. What specifically are they talking about trying to accomplish this session?

[00:18:44] Shauna Sowersby: Well, I will tell you that it doesn't seem like - this more pertains to rental housing - rent stabilization has come up and they've been asked about this many times. And so I know that that's been a really big issue for a lot of folks. And a lot of folks are really curious in this - and it doesn't seem like that one is going to get passed anytime soon. But in terms of housing, Representative Melanie Morgan introduced a bill to create a centralized Department of Housing in Washington state, so I thought that that was a pretty interesting idea. Trying to think - the lot-splitting bill was the other one that comes to mind.

[00:19:23] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, it'll be interesting. And just as you continue to talk about - as you mentioned, addressing behavioral health needs and needing to dramatically expand capacity, in addition to expanding the labor force that is available. There are shortages in providers and workers in that arena and that needing to be addressed there. So that is an area where there does seem to be bipartisan recognition that action is needed in that area. What that ultimately turns out to be - we will see - but it is basically at crisis levels, most people are acknowledging, and needing to happen there. Housing and homelessness are still there. There seems to be a lot of the back and forth that we've been hearing in a lot of localities about what is the right approach, criticism of trying to double down on failed policies for many. But we will - we'll see what happens there. Transportation is another area that that you covered there - lots of major projects that have skyrocketing costs. The ferry system struggling, and what to do about that, are major issues. What have you heard in those areas?

[00:20:41] Shauna Sowersby: Well, definitely in terms of ferries, it does not seem like either the Democrats or the Republicans feel very optimistic in that area. I'm trying to think of what - one of the quotes I heard the other day, but it was like, you know, if you're expecting anything anytime soon, don't. This is stuff that is going to be in the works for quite a while. We are - obviously, as I'm sure you're familiar with, there's been a lot of issues with our ferries in the last several months - you're hearing news stories about them getting grounded, all sorts of things, so I think that that is going to be, will continue to be a very serious issue that needs to be addressed. And it doesn't seem like that'll happen anytime soon.

[00:21:33] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, that is going to be a challenge. I think you did report that most lawmakers don't have an appetite for delaying any of the outrageously expensive and growing more expensive transportation projects. You know, a lot of highway projects are what we're looking at there. So it looks like they will find the money from somewhere - and where that comes from, we will see. But yeah, just a lot on their docket and a lot to keep track of. Session has just gotten underway. Early action, early hearings are underway. But we will see what continues to unfold there and we'll continue to follow your reporting.

Also wanted to talk about another story of yours this week, talking about - my goodness, Washington taxpayers have paid nearly $700,000 for boulders to deter a return to encampments by people who had been cleared out. What is going on?

[00:22:33] Shauna Sowersby: That is a good question. I live here in Olympia, and so I was just driving by the former encampment on Sleater Kinney a couple months ago, and I noticed how many boulders there are. I mean, it's massive - I don't know if you've seen it anytime soon. But it got me really curious. I just wanted to know what was going on. And so yeah, had a conversation with WSDOT about it - one encampment at Sleater Kinney, the one that I had mentioned, that one alone is $643,000 just for the boulder placement, transportation, and all that stuff. So yeah, this is - it shocked me whenever I heard that number, and whenever I added up all the numbers that they had given me and everything to total nearly $700,000 just for boulder placement in three areas.

[00:23:27] Crystal Fincher: I mean, it's wild, it's frustrating. As we've talked about several times on this program - fundamentally, at its core, homelessness is a housing problem. The one thing that every homeless person has in common, the cause of being homeless is not having a house. There are things that can contribute as factors. There are oftentimes, you know, being homeless is so hard that it often exacerbates other factors or other risks that were there before. But we seem to be spending money on everything but getting people into housing. And spending so much money on things that are not helping move people into housing. And to think that we're investing in literal rocks - $700,000 in rocks - to say, Don't come back, does not alleviate the problem of homelessness. We basically - we know that if we clear an encampment without also helping people into shelter or housing, that they just move to a different place. We're relocating the problem, we aren't solving it. And to spend $700,000 in a basically relocation effort doesn't seem like the best investment to me. Did this strike the people you were talking to as a large expenditure? Did they seem like - Well, this is just what we needed to do? Was there any kind of thought or reflection on that?

[00:24:57] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, I actually posed that question to WSDOT because I was curious too. I'm like, this - people might be startled by this number, right? Like, what do you think of this? And she acknowledged - Kris Abrudan - she acknowledged that it is quite an expense, but stressed the need to have something like that in place to prevent people from returning to encampments. I asked the same question to Governor Inslee at a press conference. I asked him - if he thought that that was a good thing to invest in. And it was sort of the same response - I was actually a little surprised by Inslee's response, especially since he's kind of been on the forefront of wanting to create so much housing and help homeless folks and stuff, but his response to say - Oh well, the neighbors like it being there, they like having those boulders there because it means people won't return. I just was a little surprised by his response in that instance.

[00:26:00] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I mean - and wow, you know what a good way to get people not to return to the site of an encampment would be - would be like providing them housing. They wouldn't return if they had a place to actually live. And how much could $700,000 go towards making that possible? That is not a small amount of money. That could do a lot, not just for the plain old housing costs or even, you know, if it was temporary shelter hotel. But to move towards permanent housing - for some supportive services, assistance, coordination - it just seems like such an expensive waste to me personally. But I really appreciate your reporting on this because it does take understanding what we are contending with, with the issue on the table - what's being proposed and done currently to address it, and going, Is that working? And is this the wisest expenditure of money? I certainly hope that more people would figure out ways to - instead of spending money on eco-blocks, or on hostile architecture, on rocks, that we would take that money and do something that more meaningfully and permanently addresses the issue and gets people off of the street for good. And doesn't just keep them on the street, but just away from this specific area with some rocks - which also like are an eyesore to many people, like they're not cute.

[00:27:30] Shauna Sowersby: I'm saying - thank you. Yes. I'm like, are we just gonna keep expanding rocks everywhere until, you know, there's no more room for anything.

[00:27:40] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and it's a challenge. And also that we have to contend with these things. I mean, hostile architecture is the term for it - but these are in public spaces, these are in places that we all congregate at, drive by, are around, and it's not pleasant for the community. I'm sure some people will say - Well, encampments aren't pleasant either - and they certainly aren't for the people who are forced to live there because they have nowhere else to live. And I just think that we should focus on removing the pain from everyone and really sustainable solutions that try and address the root cause of the problem and not the symptoms of the problem, that ignoring addressing the root cause just continues to exacerbate.

[00:28:26] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah. And not to mention, those are all being graffitied up and everything now, too. So if we're talking about an eyesore, you know, it's just progressively getting worse on that front.

[00:28:38] Crystal Fincher: My goodness. Well, the final thing I wanted to talk about today is local to Seattle. We recently had the new city council sworn in. Sara Nelson selected as Council President - who is a conservative - or centrist, as they're calling themselves. And with this, the first action, one of the first actions that Sara Nelson took was to fire the head of Central Staff there, which was very concerning to a lot of people. With the amount of new councilmembers who, regardless of what your political leanings are - there's a lot to just understand if you've never held elective office before, you're coming in to a major city. To legislate, to be part of the city council - just how things work, understanding what the roles and responsibilities are, how to conduct yourself during meetings, what the status of projects underway and planned are, getting familiar with what is going to be in your portfolio on your committees. It really is a lot. You are drinking from the fire hose. And this is true for any new elected in any position, regardless of ideology. Just the job is daunting. And so there's a lot that needs to be caught up. Institutional knowledge is really important. People who understand why legislation was written a certain way, understand the consequences or ramifications of things that have been proposed, understand what stakeholdering went into different processes and what was done. This institutional knowledge - a lot of it walked out the door with a lot of the outgoing councilmembers. And with all these new ones, I think there's been broad agreement and reporting and discussions that while there's going to be a lot on their plates and, you know, having people who understand just how things work at the city is really important.

When it comes to Central Staff, these are the people who support all of the councilmembers, who help to analyze and move legislation, who are working in this capacity. And Esther Handy is the person who was fired, but was largely credited for stabilizing that office when they took this position a few years back and just has done the job very well. Having competent people in those roles is very important for just the writing and passage of sound policy, across the whole portfolio of policy. And there was no performance reason given. It wasn't like they weren't doing their job. Sara Nelson said that she just didn't feel like, you know, just didn't like the supposed political leaning of Esther, which that doesn't seem to have ever been an issue before. These are nonpartisan positions. You know, was she performing the duties of the job? It seemed to catch, it absolutely did catch a lot of people by surprise. And really at a time when this kind of knowledge and stabilization is needed, was just viewed as really short-sighted. Certainly looks that way to me. And it looks like someone really wanting to say - It's a new day, there's a new sheriff in town. And, you know, this is, we're now doing this my way. So very new day there at the Seattle City Council. Hard to find a similar incidence of something like this happening in the city before. Certainly within offices, people in their own staffs, and people who know that they're in, you know, kind of positions attached to the elected - that happens, and it's unfortunate sometimes for the actual lives involved. But people are prepared for that, and that happens more often. But for this, this caught a lot of people off guard and was just like - Whoa. It looks like there's going to be a use of power in ways that we have not seen in recent memory here in the City of Seattle.

[00:32:41] Shauna Sowersby: Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how - how else everything is affected moving forward. What else will be changed, too?

[00:32:48] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And with that, we thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this Friday, January 12th, 2024. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Shannon Cheng. Our insightful co-host today is Washington State government reporter for McClatchy, Shauna Sowersby. You can find Shauna on Twitter at @Shauna_Sowersby. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter at @HacksWonks. You can find me anywhere you want to find me at @finchfrii, with two I's at the end. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review shows and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes.

Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.