[UPDATE 8:45pm: The legislation page says the Senate has officially “refused to concur” with the House amendments, which moves the bill to a conference committee back to the House, where it can “insist” or not.]

If you’re interested in why the Pierce and Community Transit relief passed, Metro relief didn’t, and the license fee’s overall prospects in the Senate, please read Erica Barnett and Larry Lange.

Briefly, Metro didn’t have enough votes.  Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen is likely to kill what did pass, allegedly to enlarge the coalition for a broader transportation measure next year.  Pierce Transit’s reserves don’t run out until 2012, but a measure signed into law tomorrow is unlikely to spare Community Transit residents at least a few months of drastically reduced service.  Whatever agenda Ms. Haugen has, she’s clearly willing to sacrifice the mobility of Snohomish County residents to achieve it.

13 Replies to “More on the License Fee Amendment”

  1. You have to ask, if Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown cannot control a turncoat, anti-transit Democrat like Mary Margaret Haugen, what gives her any right to think she should be our next governor? It also makes you wonder why the rest of the Democratic, especially Puget Sound senators lets Haugen get away with this kind of crap.

  2. The amendment failed: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6774. Snohomish county residents are screwed.

    What we need to do now is make bus funding a big issue in this year’s elections for state House and Senate. If the legislators don’t hear from people about transit, they won’t do anything.

    As the saying goes, “Make a fuss, save your bus!” Apparently that was the slogan ten years ago after I-695. Here we are again.

    1. Many years ago i remember helping with the no on 695 campain, specifically picketing at Husky stadium. I think i might still have one of the clings around too…

  3. As much as I hate playing such silly games perhaps it is time to hold ferry service hostage to more funding authority for land-based transit agencies? I’m thinking especially any remaining 64 car boats (the ones for the Pt. Townsend-Keystone run), and any funding for increased service or terminal improvements for any ferry run with an endpoint in her district.

    If she’s going to play hardball to try to get another roads+transit (yes she was partly responsible for tying the roads millstone around Sound Transit’s neck) then pro-transit legislators should really push back.

    1. We could try to shut down every bill Sen. Haugen is prime sponsoring. Compiling a list of all of her bills that are still alive would just take a little research and cross-tabbing.

      Those who play cricket in the lobbying realm don’t get very far. Lobbying is a full-contact sport (metaphysically speaking), in which opposing interests take each others’ bills hostage.

      If she thinks she will force transit folks to vote for a bunch of roads, I think her cold-heartedness toward bus riders will only have the opposite effect.

      1. Further research shows that all of Sen. Haugen’s bills are dead or on their way to the governor’s desk, with one exception. The bills going to the governor’s desk include SBs 6206, 6207, 6208, 6209, 6211, 6213, 6214, and 6558.

        The one bill of Sen. Haugen’s still in play in the legislature is SB 6381, the supplemental tranportation appropriations bill. The House Transportation Committee did a committee striker (an amendment to the whole bill, though with few word changes), and then four amendments were passed to this amended version on the House floor yesterday. The bill goes to the Senate for concurrence in the House amendments. We’ll soon see if any of them are controversial.

  4. I like your thinking, Chris Stefan. Haugen is going to be trying to push a big gas tax package next year for roads and ferries. Well it’s time for pro-transit, tax friendly voters in the Puget Sound to say “hell no,” even if it means forcing the measure onto the ballot by referendum.

  5. It will be intresting to see what she has in store for next year. It honstly wouldent surprise me if it included provsions to consolidate the systems. But thats an issue in its own right, and like with many things theres no good awnser.

    Getting back on the subject of taxation, sometimes you have to make the cuts in order demonstrate the need for your service. A real flawed way of thinking, however it can be brutally effective.

    Of course all these band-aid approaches dont really solve the problem of providing a stable funding source for public transportation. Relying on the sales tax, which can highly fluxuate depending on which month of the year you are in is no way to provide for a stable reilable system, especally with gas prices on the increase again and demand will ultmatly rise again.

    Also, while the leglisature may give certain PTBA’s the tools to implement a stop-gap, it dosent nessasarily mean their governing bodies will actually utilize that. If a PTBA was going to go to the voters for a tax increase (presuming they had any left), and it failed. It would be political suicide for their governing body to than imlement the $20 fee after failure to “save the system”. It just wont happen, and really i think it would be policital suicide to do that even without a vote.

    Again, the system would need to demonstrate its nessisity to the public by curtailing service and than once the public sees/experences the hardship (especally as gasoline prices rise) than they will support any nessasary measures to restore lost service.

  6. Not to quibble over details, but the bill actually goes back to the House, for one of the following actions: insist on the House’s position (i.e. adding the amendment); remove the amendment and pass the bill without it; request a conference committee; or do nothing.

    The conference committee option does not appeal, as Rep. Clibborn and Sen. Haugen would be representing the Democrats at that conference. We need the House to insist on its position.

    Call your reps, and tell them to vote to insist on keeping the amendments in SB 6774.

  7. Here’s the sad fact about Senator Haugen: if she can’t put her name (or at least cut a ribbon) on a transportation project, she ain’t fer it. Service is important to transit users and the public in general. But it’s at the bottom of the self-centered, washed-up politician’s list.

    And to boot: Sen. Haugen could really care less about Puget Sound’s economic engine. Her district is full of transient military folks and retired / barely working/retired folks (nothing wrong with either). Haugen has contempt for the average commuter, who is simply trying to get to her/his job. Her actions prove it, time and again.

    Rep. Clibborn seems to have wandered out of the transportation stone age. But Sen. Haugen will never stand back from her freeways and ferries mindset.

    This is Haugen’s last term. Her departure could not come quickly enough

    Mary Margaret came into the legislature as a hair stylist (no joke). She spent several decades climbing her way up the Oly ladder, and always kept that petty Glenn Beck mindset: power is more important than doing the right thing.

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