Getting close to a transportation plan, Senate negotiators close to 11.5-cent gas tax agreement

Jonathan Martin writes in the Seattle Times that the Senate may be ready to unveil a transportation plan.

As of this week, negotiators in the Senate have general agreement on an 11.5-cent-per-gallon gas-tax increase that would fund a multibillion-dollar investment.

I don’t like higher gas prices any more than anyone else, but the payoff is worth it — and the time is now, with rock-bottom gas prices. Highway 520 could be finished and bottlenecks on Interstate 5 and Interstate 405 could be cleared. Authorization for a Sound Transit 3 package — potentially extending lines to Everett, Redmond and Federal Way — is also in the agreement.

He notes the numerous obstacles that have blocked agreements in the past: disputes over the role of transit, construction reforms and Gov. Inslee’s  efforts to impose a low carbon fuel standard by executive order. Martin sees this year’s negotiations as being a test for the governor.

The governor is also pursuing a cap-and-trade proposal (Seattle Times stories here and here, the latter addressing the study released yesterday by the Washington Climate Collaborative). 

As we mentioned yesterday, there’s no time for further delay. An 11.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase would do a lot to help Washingtonians Connect