When Senate Republicans pushed out Senate Bill 5987, they ensured every region of the state got a piece of the action. Whether you live in the Puget Sound or North Spokane, there is something in it for you. However, there is one caveat; the bill would also minimize the threat of Governor Inslee passing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) by executive order – at least not without significant hardships on pedestrian, public transit (especially Sound Transit’s taxing ability), and bike paths. These are not things we wish to see sacrificed from the package, but they are issues that squarely fall in the Governor’s wheelhouse. Republicans want a safeguard to maintain the current bipartisan efforts going on in both the Senate and House chambers, without the damage a cap and trade tax would inflict on the process.

Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen has already begun his attempt at breaking these new found bonds by declaring the new 2/3 majority initiative (passed by voters by almost 2/3’s) as unconstitutional, which he announced during the transportation package that wouldn’t have even been affected by the rule. All that we (the Senate majority) are asking for is something to show for the money we will be collecting from taxpayers.

One other thing this bill does is add accountability and efficiency. Did you know that we charge a sales tax on construction projects in this state? The sales tax raised currently goes into the general fund. Why not re-infuse that money back into the transportation budget?

Everything in this package has been intentionally clear, whether our fellow Democrat counterparts feel inclined to support it has yet to be known. This was actually the very first transportation package I’ve supported enough to vote for over my entire tenure in the Senate, and I hope Democrats are willing to meet me half way.

Categories : General

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