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Legislative Update – Week 10

The Senate’s transportation revenue and spending bills are scheduled to be heard on Thursday, March 26th at 3:30pm.  The Senate’s revenue bill, ESSB 5987, increases fuel tax by 11.7 cents per gallon, raises several vehicle weight and license fees, and generates approximately $10.5 billion in revenue over the next 16 years.  The Senate spending package depends on generating revenue with bonds raising the total revenue for the package to $13.9 billion.

The Senate’s spending bill, ESSB 5988, appropriates funding to WSDOT for maintenance and preservation and improvements to state highways.  The spending bill also provides funding to local governments directly and through grant programs.  The bulk of the funding, about $10 billion, is dedicated to WSDOT.  About $1.03 billion of the funding (over 16 years) is dedicated to local programs – $282 million to counties, $201 million to cities, $266 million to bike/pedestrian, safe routes to schools, and complete streets programs, and $486 million to transit.  In addition to direct appropriations to local agencies, $463 million is appropriated for projects through WSDOT’s local programs division. Hearings on Senate transportation reform bills are expected to be scheduled the following week.

The 2013 “current law” transportation budget is scheduled to be released March 30th, with hearings to be scheduled shortly thereafter.  The current law budget will lay out appropriations without any new funding passed by the Senate. Policy bills continue to be heard in committee until the next cutoff on April 1st.  Fiscal bills have until April 7th to be passed out of committee.

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

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