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First, if you’re wondering where North by Northwest 45 went – go here.  Very important read & slides on Sounder North.

Second, finally after many kind phone calls and polite responses got a reply back from State Senator Curtis King’s public information officer.  Here goes unfiltered:

It is fair to say that Sen. King supports public transit as part of an overall transportation system. Also, Sen. King supports the idea of allowing voters to decide for themselves if they are willing to pay increased sales tax, property tax and car tabs to pay for light rail. As far as funding for specific projects, those are still being negotiated as part of a larger transportation project right now, so he can’t comment on that.

Figured you’d want to know.  I think we all can exhale and quit bashing Republicans right about… now.


Programming Note: Expect an Island Transit update this weekend if not sooner.

14 Replies to “North by Northwest 46: Statement from Senator King’s Office”

  1. If that statement is true, clearly he’s going to throw his weight behind the ST3 bill that does just that, right? And he won’t condition his support of a bill aligned with his stated principles on a bunch of horse trading involving state-funded freeway expansion?

    If those words are backed by their obviously corresponding actions I’ll hand out elephant-shaped cupcakes.

    1. 1) Looks to me like this will be part of a final deal. Patience Al.

      2) I’ve made clear roads taxes need to face voters separately. We’ve proven transit can handle itself on its own.

      1. Joe, what you’ve “made clear” is all well and good, but you’re not the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

        Actions speak louder than words. Using one’s power as gatekeeper for public votes on local transit funding to make deals is not the way of someone that believes in public votes on transit funding acts. It would be different if this were a matter of direct state funding, but it ain’t.

        Again, if King surprises us all and gets unconditionally behind a bill that’s totally in line with the principle he told you he supported I’ll hand out elephant-shaped cupcakes. This idea was not very well thought-through — typically one would shape cookies rather than cupcakes — but I have a feeling this is a moot point.

      2. Al, it has been a standard legislative practice to trade support for bill X to get bill Y through since the beginning of American legislatures.

        Maybe it’s to get support from Pierce, King & Snohomish for letting Kitsap voters vote (down) their elites’ POFF dream.

        Maybe it’s to make sure road maintenance gets done.

        We’ll see. We all now know if we don’t get ST3 who to blame, scold and hold accountable.

      3. Yes, legislators make deals. If King supported putting transit packages before the voters he’d be the one offering other people deals in order to get them through, not the one that has to get something in return. Or he’d be advocating removing the state, whose money is not in play, as a gateway to such referendums.

        What King’s actions suggest is that he doesn’t really support putting transit packages before the voters, he merely finds it tolerable enough to allow if he gets enough in return from people that actually support it.

      4. Hey Al – maybe Senator King wants to hold local people accountable in this deal. You’re right, concessions will be required.

        It will have MANY moving pieces and parts, more than I like.

        Listen to http://youtu.be/l5xZSyPhNq8 to hear Senator King unfiltered.

  2. Does Senator King also “support the idea of allowing voters to decide for themselves if they are willing to pay increased sales tax, property tax and car tabs to pay for highways”? Because 60% of highway expenditures in the state today are funded from “general revenues” without a whisper of an approval vote.

    1. I don’t know where you got your stat – I would like to know.

      I don’t know where Senator King is on taxes for highways. I might ask…………

    2. It depends on how you define ‘highways’.

      Interstates, State highways, or local roads?

      Most gasoline taxes (state and federal) are directed to their associate type highways.

      It’s the local roads that are left without adequate funding, and I’ve seen various ‘local road’ packages come before the voters (at least in my neck of the woods), and get voted down.

      In general, from those I’ve spoken with, and research at the libraries (for those munipalities I’m familiar with), it’s actually somewhat the reverse, ~60% picked up by gas tax revenue, ~40% from other various taxing sources. (whichever source the cities wanted to use for a given project)

      The other insidious thing about gas tax revenue is, there are no ‘sub-area’ rules.

      I get taxed an excessive amount to fund ‘solutions’ for others who want an unfettered SOV commute in corridors I don’t use.

      The only valid use for the gas tax is strictly for maintanace on existing infrastructure.

      Expansion projects need to go through the same public process, including a public vote, that transit is required to.

      Any Republican should be able to understand that.. and a number of Democrats, too.

      1. Jim, this Republican understands this. However, I would preferably allow the gas tax to go towards buses & paratransit… as buses allow truly small-d democratic use of our roads.

      2. Actually, to clarify the Republican/Democrat portion of my comment..

        There are a lot of Democrats who don’t seem to understand as well.
        Or maybe it’s just that their hesitant to take a more strident stance on money being thrown at pavement solutions.

        Everyone whines about traffic. Even those who believe in alternatives modes, when they get stuck in it on days they need to be SOV’ers.

      3. Jim,

        Yes, you are correct; I’m including municipal streets and county roads, which are mostly funded by property taxes.

        And why not? Of course they’re necessary; you’ll get no argument from me on that. I like to eat and have access to the products of the world that the road system brings.

        But we could spend 30% of what we do and have good freight access and rural highways for the occasional out-of-the-city trip if we weren’t accumulating hundreds of millions of commuter miles per day.

        Yes, yes, SOME people need their cars at work. But most don’t, and it’s simply mindless selfishness that says “I should be able to drive; fuck the environment!”

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