Legislation Update

State Capitol Interior (wikimedia)

Last evening was the cutoff for non-budget bills to pass either the Senate or House. As Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon explained to us in a comment, the main revenue bills for transit are still alive. In an email, he further clarified that Speaker Chopp made the determination that these bills are “necessary” to pass the budget, which allows them to linger until they have the votes to pass.

Here’s what else has a chance:

SB 5088, designed to obstruct light rail in Clark County, passed the Senate 25-24 in what I believe was a straight party-line vote (counting dissident Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon as Republicans).

HB 1563, the bill that allows agencies to sell land below market value to build affordable housing,  passed the House 51-46.

HB 1045, allowing cities to lower their own speed limits, passed the House 86-10.

HB 1648, which extends development funds for urban infill instead of just sprawl,  passed the House 89-8.

HB 1324, which I missed last time, merges County Ferry Districts back into their counties, and passed the House 97-0. According to Fitzgibbon, consolidating King County Ferry District administration with KCDOT will save about $400,000 annually.

About Martin H. Duke

Martin joined the blog in Fall 2007 and became Editor-in-Chief in 2009. He is originally from suburban DC, but has lived in the Greater Seattle area since 1997. He resides with his family in Columbia City and works as a software engineer in Lower Queen Anne.




Comments

  1. Does anyone have an explanation of how the Washington State legislative branch works? Why was yesterday the last day to pass the house or senate?

    • After a certain cutoff non-budget related bills that haven’t passed one house or the other cannot be brought up. You can still dicker over budget items or debate/vote on a bill that passed the other house. I think the logic is to leave dedicated time to passing a budget.

      http://www.leg.wa.gov/legislature/pages/cutoff.aspx

      • Schuyler says:

        Wow so the leg only meets until April? That’s screwed up for a state leg. these days. It should be year round work.

  2. Cascadian says:

    I eagerly await the STB endorsement of whomever runs against Rodney Tom in the Democratic primary in 2014.

    • Matt L (aka Angry Transit Nerd) says:

      You mean 2016. Senators are elected to 4-year terms, and Rodney Tom was just re-elected last year.

      • Peyton Stever says:

        You mean 2014.

        I should know. I volunteered for the Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2010 in his district, there were signs everywhere that said “endorsed by the Seattle Times”.

        Makes me sick.

  3. “counting dissident Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon as Republicans”

    Why not; they’re behaving like Republicans. It’s clear that Rodney Tom’s change of party affiliation was a tactical move to win some votes.

  4. Does that the fact that every GOP Senator voted to obstruct CRC light rail portend that we will have trouble getting the legislature to grant ST the authority they need to pursue ST3? It seems like transit funding is becoming even more of a partisan issue, at least in this state.

    • Martin H. Duke says:

      Clark County and Puget Sound are arguably different, but it’s reason to worry. On the other hand, there will be another election cycle before ST can take a shot a 2016 ballot measure, to say nothing of 2020.

    • I think with some patience and respect, guys like I can work on my fellow Rs. Over time.

  5. John Bailo says:

    HB 1563, the bill that allows agencies to sell land below market value to build affordable housing, that allows government to fund the Downtown Syndicate to build blockbusting apodments at below cost, which in turn will lower the value of the surrounding neighborhoods, passed the House 51-46.

  6. Quick question – is Senator Rodney Tom transit-friendly?

    He just might be able to stand up to Curtis King, methinks.

    • Peyton Stever says:

      No. When I talked to him during Transportation Advocacy Day he could barely conceal his contempt for transit.

      His words were “I will support any transportation package that has the votes to pass.”

      He is a total opportunist who will be transit friendly if it serves his purposes.

Sign in or create an account to save your credentials and make commenting faster.



You may want to read our comment policy.