Posts tagged: transportation package
OLYMPIA – Senate negotiators will begin the push today for a package of new road projects and improved maintenance that could complete the long-discussed North Spokane Corridor and raise gasoline taxes by 11.5 cents over three years.
The package of 10 related bills, with a total price tag of $8.7 billion for projects all over the state, gets a formal airing at a Senate Transportation Committee hearing this afternoon. Whether it will prompt a special session or just lay the groundwork for more debate next year is unknown…
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OLYMPIA – The Washington Legislature will meet in a special session starting Thursday to consider a $10 billion transportation package and other legislation Gov. Jay Inslee said is key to landing the manufacturing plant for a new Boeing jetliner.
Standing with legislative leaders, Boeing executives and union officials, Inslee said a combination of transportation improvements, extended tax breaks, faster permits for building and aerospace education programs would guarantee the company will build the new jetliner and a new carbon fiber wing in Washington state.
The current 777 facility supports 56,000 jobs, and the new plane will create thousands more, Inslee said: “These jobs are ours if we act now.”. .
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A Senate committee's hearings to let the public suggest what to do about the state's transportation problems are proving so popular that the Spokane session is being moved to a bigger venue.
The Transportation Committee's “feedback forum” will be at the Central Valley High School theater, 6 p.m. on Oct. 2. Originally it was planned for the Greater Spokane Inc., headquarters in downtown.
Committee Co-chairman Curtis King said previous hearings have drawn big crowds. In Bellevue, they had nearly 400 people , and the Everett hearing was also standing-room. “Hundreds of people turned out, which made us realize that some of the other facilities may not be large enough to handle the crowd,” King said in a press release announcing the change.
The CV theater, at 821 Sullivan Road, holds 500 and can accommodate people with disabilities.
OLYMPIA — After trying but failing to craft a package of major road projects in this year's Legislature, the Senate Transportation Committee will hold seven forums around the state to try to craft a new package.
One of the stops on the “listening tour” will be in Spokane on Oct. 2 at thle Greater Spokane Inc., offices, 801 W. Riverside Ave.
Sens. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, who share the chairman duties on the committee, said they want to get public comment for a package that could be introduced next year.
“We’re looking forward to hearing from Washington residents on their priorities for our transportation system, as well as sharing some of our thoughts for how it can be improved,” said King, in a press release announcing the meetings.
“Transportation is the backbone to a vital economy, both for jobs and for a strong infrastructure that drives economic development,” Eide said in the press release. “We need to make sure the public understands what’s at stake here, and the public needs the opportunity to make their priorities known.”
During the session, proposals to raise the gasoline tax and some motor vehicle fees to pay for as much as $10 billion in new roads and bridges and maintenance on existing structures collapsed in disagreements over the proposed Columbia River Crossing, the amounts to be spent on mass transit and road maintenance, and proposed improvements in the way the state Transportation Department contracts for major projects.
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Ava Conner, 6, accompanied her mother Jennifer to the Capitol for today's rally for a transportation package.
OLYMPIA — Shouts of “Pass it Now” filled the Capitol steps this morning as supporters of a new package of taxes and road projects tried to goad the Legislature into action.
In front of the podium where a couple hundred sign-carrying protesters in hard hats and safety vests. Behind the podium were folks in suits and ties. It was a visual reminder that the package has the support of labor unions and the state's business community, backed up by speakers like Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made passing a transportation package one of his top priorities for the special session.
“We've got to finish what we have started,” Inslee told the crowd. “It is crunch time…There is a tooth fairy but there is no transportation fairy.”
Where it lacks support, however, is in parts of the GOP caucuses in both chambers of the Legislature, where opponents of the Columbia River Crossing bridge between Portland and Vancouver are against including money for that project. Some members also want any taxes the package will include to be sent to a statewide vote in November by including a referendum clause in the legislation.
OLYMPIA – A proposal to raise the state’s gasoline tax by 2 cents per year for five years and impose or hike other taxes would provide some $420 million for further work on the North Spokane Corridor.
The long-running road construction project – sometimes called the North-South Freeway – is one of five designated statewide “impact” projects in the Connecting Washington package proposed Wednesday by House Democrats, and the only one in the Spokane area. . .
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OLYMPIA — A major transportation plan will be unveiled Wednesday that features 2-cent per year increases in the state's gasoline tax.
The proposal, from House Transportation Committee Chairman Judy Clibborn, will divide the money between new projects and maintenance and eventually raise the state's gas tax by a total of 10 cents.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who has said he wants a transportation package that would both build new projects and fix some of its crumbling infrastructure, refused to endorse it Tuesday, saying only that it is “a good start on that discussion.”
Inslee named a new transportation secretary as one of three cabinet-level appointments, selecting Lynn Peterson, who is currently a transportation advisor to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, said majority Democrats in that chamber view the projects the tax increase would support as a jobs package, and said the plan will set aside significant amounts for maintenance. Previous gasoline tax packages have been criticized as emphasizing new mega projects and not leaving enough for ongoing road repairs.
Chopp said it was too early to say what the exact split would be, or the prospects to pass such a plan in the House. “It's just a concept paper at this point.”
Another unknown: what type of majority such a plan will need. The state Supreme Court is deliberating on the constitutionality of voter-passed laws for a two-thirds supermajority on any tax increase.
If that standard is upheld, “it's going to be extremely difficult” to pass that type of tax increase in the Legislature, Inslee said. That would mean voters would have to approve it in the November election.