Lost (by me) in all the HB 1490 noise was Senate Bill 5540 (and companion House Bill 1677), which permits Vancouver and Clark County to impose a .9% sales tax to build high capacity transit to Portland, and to institute the same .9% sales tax authority Sound Transit has to pay for the construction of the transit. The bill amends the language to let any county with more than 400,000 residents that borders another state team up with a transit agency in that other state. Clark County has only very recently passed the 400,000 people mark, and is the only county one of two counties with that many people that borders another state.
The Senate Bill has passed 30-17, mainly along party lines, with the Democrats for and the Republicans against. The two exceptions were Tim Sheldon (D-Potlach) who voted no, and Bob Morton (R-Kettle Falls) voted yes. The Senator representing the area, Don Benton (R-Vancouver) abstained. The House companion bill has passed out of committee and should get a floor vote relatively soon. I’ll keep you posted.