Despite Budget Stalemate, Real Progress on Transportation Package: Time to Finish the Job

The Puget Sound Business Journal today editorializes in support of legislative approval of a comprehensive transportation package now. It’s a short, must-read, and not just because they cite Opportunity Washington.

…state lawmakers are essentially holding the package hostage as they rush to meet a July 1 deadline for the 2015-17 state budget.

We’ve seen this before. Political shenanigans killed transportation packages the previous two years. The 2015 version calls for a gradual gas-tax increase of 11.7 percent, as well as fee hikes.

The need is palpable. A study by Opportunity Washington late last year found that fewer than half of state roads are rated in good or better condition.

We’re told negotiations are once again taking place after a brief suspension

The PSBJ leads with the coalition letter to the governor and legislators expressing support for swift action on transportation funding. And closes, appropriately, with this:

Get this thing done. Now.

In a similar vein, the Spokesman-Review notes progress and frustration on the transportation plan. Also citing the coalition letter, they urge immediate action.

Meanwhile, more than 200 business and municipal leaders from all over the state are pleading for a deal that will gradually hike gasoline taxes by 11.7 cents per gallon, raising $15 billion that would fund a 16-year highway and bridge construction program.

If this does not get done, Inslee should call another special session, turn off the air conditioning in the Capitol and block any roads out not already paralyzed by traffic.


Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.