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Interest Groups Abound At State Lawmakers National Conference In Seattle
Seattle Municipal Archives

State lawmakers from around the country will descend on Seattle the week of August 3 for a national legislative summit.

But it’s not just policy makers who will be in attendance. So will dozens of interest groups.

The four-day summit is sponsored by the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. It will feature former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Pulitzer winner Jon Meacham. State lawmakers will also be able to attend “deep dive” sessions on topics such as marijuana legalization, police body cameras and brain science.

But there’s another element to this annual gathering: the long list of interest groups that will have exhibitor booths at the conference. They range from to Friends of Coal to the National Rifle Association to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

And then there are the after hours events hosted by lobbyists and their clients. For instance, one invitation from the Gordon Thomas Honeywell lobbying firm invites lawmakers to a hosted reception for “hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and networking.”

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."