Spin Control

Transpo package dead

OLYMPIA -- That sound you heard was the last gasp death rattle of a $10 billion plan to raise gasoline taxes to pay for new road projects, fix existing roads and bridges and boost mass transit.

Despite a plea from Gov. Jay INslee earlier in the day to pass the package, which was declare dead but then moved to life support late Friday night, the coalition that controls the Senate said there were too many questions about the list of projects, the cost of doing them without further reforms in the state Transportation Department or rules for building roads and bridges.

Senate Democrats tried to force the bill onto the floor through a parliamentary maneuver. Inslee had predicted if the predominately Republican coalition would allow a vote, it could pass.

Before the vote on the maneuver, technically known as a motion to move to the Ninth Order, Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, asked to reject it as a "procedural vote." In case anyone missed his point, Schoesler used the word procedural four times. The coalition has always held its 25-24 margin on procedural votes.

It did this time, too. The motion failed 26-21.

Legislature expects to adjourn later today.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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