Seattle Times: Clear roadblocks for transportation package

Today’s Seattle Times editorial supporting swift legislative action on a transportation package concludes with the right, strong emphasis.

The transportation negotiations under way now in the state Senate must represent the urgency of the need. Legislative leaders should set a deadline of mid-March, when the Legislature’s attention will shift to the operating budget.

Delay further and the Senate risks sending a message to the business community — which has strongly backed a package — that it can’t address the basics of governing.

It’s well past time for Olympia to keep the state moving.

Read the whole thing … there are important details to sort out. But the critical point is that those details must be resolved. They cannot stand in the way of reaching agreement on transportation funding in the next few weeks.

The editorial in the Times nicely complements a similar position taken by the Spokane Spokesman-Review just days ago. The S-R noted,

To understand what’s at stake, the Washington Roundtable, a group of statewide business leaders, asked the Boston Consulting Group to study the impact of action and inaction. A $7 billion investment over 30 years would generate an estimated $42 billion economic boost, creating nearly 200,000 jobs and more efficient movement of goods and motorists. Conversely, inaction would cost the average driver $940 annually, and shipping volume at the Seattle and Tacoma ports would take a hit. Plus, by 2026, 60 percent of highway pavement would be rated “poor” or worse, and 40 percent of bridges would be dangerously deficient.

The stakes are high, as this Opportunity Washington video makes clear.

There’s no time to waste.