This morning, the final version of the emergency transit bill passed out of the Senate and is now on its way to the Governor. The bill would allow the King County Council to implement a $20 car licence fee to fund transit, which would raise $67 million for Metro. The house version of the bill included Reuven Carlyle’s (D-Seattle) amendment that changed the requirement to a simple majority rather than the two-thirds majority put in by the Senate. Two days ago, the conference committee appointed to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the emergency transit bill produced a final copy. The final version includes the two-thirds majority, which means six instead of five county council members have to approve the fee. The House passed the reconciled bill yesterday.
The two-thirds majority agreement is not good news for transit, but the bill making it all the way through is, especially with the number of potential road blocks it encountered. In the end, one Republican Senator voted for the bill! Dan Swecker, from Centralia, sometimes breaks with his caucus when he disagrees. He’s on Senate Transportation, so he’s definitely knowledgeable about the bill. I have an email to his office to ask why he liked it.