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Legislative Update – Week 2

Legislation was introduced to provide additional local transportation funding options.  HB 1593 (McBride) gives cities the authority to establish transportation utilities, subject to voter approval.  A city transportation utility would be able to assess properties based on trip generation.  The bill also allows cities and counties to adopt a motor vehicle fee up to $50 councilmanically or up to 2/10% sales tax (except for areas included in a regional transportation authority).

The Governor’s transportation revenue bill, HB 1300/SB 5358 has been introduced, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

HB 1393/SB 5326 (Ortiz-Self, Liias) authorizes Community Transit to impose an additional .5% sales tax if approved by voters.

HJR 4205 (Pike) sets up a referendum for a constitutional amendment which would require taxes and revenues for the state public works assistance account be used exclusively for funding local government public works projects. A constitutional amendment requires 2/3 approval by the legislature and is then referred to voters for approval.

Public hearings have been set for the two local ferry reimbursement bills, HB 1318 and SB 5307.  The companion bills increase the deficit reimbursement for the Whatcom, Skagit, and Pierce County ferries from $1 million to $1.8 million.

SB 5411 (Roach) extends the wheeled all-terrain vehicle liability release to counties, cities, and towns.  Current law only provides the liability protection to the state.

For counties that charge WSDOT storm water fees, SB 5314 (Benton) allows expenditures off state highways and eliminates annual reporting requirements.

A list of bills being tracked can be found here.

Please contact Gary Rowe if you would like more information about any bills.