[UPDATE by Martin, 3:08pm: they flipped a vote and passed the Transportation Bill ($) 51-41 today. Now it’s off to the considerably more hostile Senate.]
House Bill 1954, the $10B transportation package that Martin detailed previously, failed to garner the 50 votes required for passage. This bill would have provided the necessary “local option” authority, allowing King County Metro to ask voters for the necessary funds to return the agency to long-term fiscal health. It would have also funded a lot of new highway expansion, raised the gas tax, and, most controversially, continued to fund the Columbia River Crossing. From the AP:
The package, which had already faced likely resistance in the Senate, included $3.2 billion for several state road projects, including state Route 167, Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass and a replacement bridge over the Columbia River into Oregon. It also included more than $1 billion for maintenance of highways and bridges.
I understand the need for political coalitions and all, but the alliance between pro-transit and pro-highway legislators has always struck me as particularly problematic. It’s like saying to an alcoholic, “sure, you can get a new liver, but only if you agree to continue drinking.” Surely there has to be a better coalition with which to partner, but I haven’t yet figured out what it would be.