Friday, March 29, 2013

Gov. Jay Inslee last week said he supports passage of a transportation funding package this year. He was not specific about what he wanted to see in such a package, nor what he would not accept.

Three bills exist which could bring new funding to Community Transit - two "local option" bills that could allow the agency to go to local voters for funding, and a statewide transportation package that could bring some new state funding to transits as well as a local option.

Next week, both chambers are expected to announce their transportation budget proposals, so we'll know more about where transit's needs are addressed. Word in Olympia is that the statewide package introduced in the House last month (HB 1954) is being retooled to make it more likely to pass this session. Translated, that means it is getting smaller and likely will have even less money dedicated for transit.

Community Transit, as well as King County Metro Transit, Pierce Transit and the Washington State Transit Association, continue to talk to legislators to ask for robust new transit funding this year. Several organizations also are addressing legislators to request strong transit funding.

Economic Alliance Snohomish County will gather in Olympia on Friday, April 5 to urge county legislators to support a transportation package that includes transit funding. Also, Transportation Choices Coalition will be in Olympia on Wednesday, April 3 to press King County legislators to support transit funding.

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