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Published on Friday, June 19, 2015

Transportation negotiations stalled

Representative Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), Chair of the House Transportation Committee, has been widely quoted in the media that House leadership has temporarily suspended transportation negotiations. Up until this development, transportation leaders from all four caucuses and the Governor’s office had been meeting two to three times a week to hammer out the details of a transportation revenue package. While clearly frustrated with the setback, Rep. Clibborn remained optimistic in her comments that it is still possible to get a package done.

The main sticking point, and reason for the suspension of negotiations, is not any aspect of the transportation package, but the ongoing dispute between the House and the Senate on operating budget matters. It has been understood for some time that a transportation package would not pass before an operating budget is settled. Advocates have been pushing for a transportation package to be passed alongside an operating budget and not to leave Olympia without a package. As we get closer to the end of the fiscal year and a potential government shutdown, this message becomes even more important.

What can cities do? Continue to deliver the message of how important a statewide transportation package is to your community. This can be done directly to your legislators and through social media using #transponow. Cities have priorities in the operating budget (state shared revenues), the capital budget (local infrastructure funding), and the transportation revenue package – all these priorities are important to ensure the health and vitality of cities. We want to see all of these priorities addressed before legislators leave Olympia.

Categories: Transportation