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Legislative Update – Week 6

The Senate Transportation Committee passed their bipartisan transportation package out of committee.  The bipartisan package included three transportation revenue and spending bills together with six policy bills.  Two additional policy bills were passed out with only majority coalition votes.  Several amendments were offered with few passing.  An amendment that would set local revenue options at Sound Transit’s request was not adopted.  Amendments that eliminated a requirement for reform bills to pass before revenues would be allocated to transit also did not pass.

Two amendments affecting revenues to counties were offered by Senator Sheldon. His first amendment, which was approved, makes counties eligible for the complete streets grant program.  Since this is a new program it’s hard to say how much of the $160 million allocated to the grant program will be awarded to counties.  Senator Sheldon’s also offered an amendment to increase the allocation to counties (through CRAB) by $190 million.  This amendment was not agreed to by the committee.

The transportation package, as adopted by the committee, provides approximately $202 million over 16 years – $12.6 million per year.  Estimated annual allocations to counties can be found here.

With cutoff of transportation and fiscal bills on February 27th, several transportation committee bills are scheduled for executive action this week. HB 1757, increasing local option councilmanic vehicle fees from $20 to $50, has been passed on to rules.  HB 1868, expanding county road funding spending authority, has also been passed on the rules committee.  Of concern to counties, HB 1695, requiring use of recycled aggregates passed out of the House Environment Committee and is scheduled for hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 24th.

A complete list of bills being tracked can be found here.

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