Several bills of interest have been introduced with several hearings scheduled this week. A couple of bills of concern, both sponsored by Rep. MacEwen, are scheduled for hearings.
First is a bill, HB 1367, that allows counties to provide funding for private roads by allowing citizens to petition a county to establish a private road maintenance fund for the specific area. Providing funds is optional. WSAC will oppose the bill for two primary reasons. First, funding will need to come from non-dedicated or restricted funds, most likely the county general fund, which typically does not have any additional funding available. Second, a question arises over whether providing public funds for private roads would be a violation of article VIII, section 7 of the state constitution.
Another bill sponsored by Rep. MacEwen, HB 1156, changes the threshold from 15,000 to 300,000 population for automatically allowing ATVs on county roads, posted at 35 MPH, or less. The bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
Several bills about infrastructure financing have been introduced. More information can be found here.
Rep. Shea has introduced HB 1307 which allows posting of dual speed limits. Typical dual speed limits include day/night speeds and vehicle/truck speeds. Please let me know if this is something that would be important for counties to have this authority.
Rep. Fey has sponsored HB 1332 gives counties explicit authority to go on to private property remove dangerous objects on roads and bridges. Again, please let me know if this is something that would be important to counties.
Sen. Honeyford has again introduced the hydraulic project jurisdiction bill that limits jurisdiction to the ordinary high water line. The bill, SB 5228, is scheduled for a hearing on 1/26 at 1:30PM in the Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committee.
A complete list of transportation/public works related bills can be found here.
Please contact me if you have any questions about any of the legislation.