Almost there: New revenues approved for transportation package

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.

The Seattle Times reports, 

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.

Schrader writes,

“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.

As The News Tribune writes, the next steps are clear.

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.