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Legislative Update – Week 5

The Senate Transportation Committee leadership introduced a bipartisan transportation revenue and spending plan for the next 16 years.  The plan raises $15.1 billion by increasing fuel taxes by 11.7 cents, increasing vehicle and license fees, and selling bonds for construction projects.  The plan provides $8.2 billion for construction projects including completion of the western end of SR 520, SR 167/SR 509, and US 395.  The plan also allocates over $2.5 billion to state agencies for preservation, maintenance, and operations.

Funding through direct allocation and grants to local agencies totals about $1.3 billion: $502 million to cities and urban-focused programs, $486 million to transit programs, and $247 million to county programs.  The allocation to counties works out to about $15.5 million per year, an increase of $10.5 million compared to current allocations.  The proposal also provides local funding options for Sound Transit (.5% sales tax, .3% MVET, $.10/$1000 property tax) and transportation benefit districts ($40 councilmanic vehicle license fee (VLF) after $20 VLF in place for 2 years).

The transportation package includes eight transportation reform bills.  The reform bills include transferring sales tax from the general fund and funds from the environmental legacy stewardship account for a total of $1.05 billion.  Other reforms include ferry capital reforms, labor reforms, environmental permitting reforms, transportation goal reforms, and project delivery reforms.

More information on the transportation package can be found here.  Hearings on reform bills are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 17th at 3:30 PM with revenue bills scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 18th at 3:30 PM.

A list of bills being tracked can be found here.

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