Last night the House passed the revenues required to fund a $16 billion, 16-year comprehensive transportation plan. But, as with the operating budget, there’s still more work to do. Jordan Schrader has the details in The News Tribune:
The Legislature voted in Wednesday’s early hours to approve the largest gas-tax increase in Washington’s history and the first in a decade…But approval of borrowing and spending plans tied to the taxes will have to wait.
House members were sent home Wednesday morning at about 3:30 a.m. without finishing votes on the transportation package.
Around that time, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, spelled out a handful of options for when an agreement could be reached. Lawmakers could finish their work on Wednesday, return for a special session in the fall, or start up again in the next regular session in January.
“It’s kind of anticlimactic to leave it this way,” House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said, “but I do think the hard part is done.”
The hard part was a day of vote-wrangling in the House capped by a 54-44 nailbiter of a vote to send the tax and fee package to the Senate for final approval. The Senate’s 37-7 signoff hours later sent the plan to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.
To secure the approval of the transportation package, House members would have to pass a spending plan as well as muster the 60 percent support necessary to approve bonds.
They’ve come too far to leave this hanging now.