Seven bills in the state legislature related to transit survived Monday’s cut-off to get to the Rules Committee in their second house. They have through this Friday to get voted on in their second house.
One controversial bill that did not make the cut was Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5343, by Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D – Renton), which in its original version would have made Sound Transit pay for free parking permits for all residents of restricted parking zones around light rail stations.
Another controversial bill, Substitute Senate Bill 6152 by Sen. Andy Hill (R – Redmond), which in its committee-amended version would have opened up transit/HOV/toll lanes on I-405 to general traffic on evenings after 7 pm, weekends, and holidays, failed to get out of the Senate.
The seven surviving transit-related bills are detailed after the fold.
House Bill 2516, by Rep. Steve Kirby (D – Tacoma), would clarify that commuter ridesharing arrangements, in which the driver is one of the commuters, is not covered under the definition of “commercial transportation service provider”. The effect is that carpool drivers would not have to get all the insurance required of “rideshare” professional drivers, and would be held to just a reasonable and ordinary standard of care.
HB 2516 passed 96-1-0-0 in the House on February 10, and 47-0-0-2 in the Senate on Tuesday. It is headed to the governor’s desk.
HB 2639, by Rep. Gina McCabe (R – Goldendale), would require the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to conduct a study to analyze the costs, benefits, detriments, and feasibility of requiring each school bus purchased after December 2017 to be equipped with seat belts, safety harnesses, or other approved restraint systems for all passengers. By October 15, 2016, the OSPI would submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature that specifies results of the study and recommendations.
HB 2639 passed 87-9-0-1 in the House on February. It passed out of the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education on February 25, and has been placed on second reading by the Senate Rules Committee.
Engrossed House Bill 2745, originally by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D – Burien), and amended on the House floor, would allow the King County Council to make an appointment to the Vashon Island Ferry Advisory Committee if the Vashon/Maury Island Community Council fails to appoint a qualified person within 90 days of the occurrence of a vacancy.
Per testimony, the Vashon/Maury Island Community Council has been defunct for six years.
EHB 2745 passed 98-0-0-0 in the House on February 17, and 44-3-0-2 in the Senate on Tuesday. It is headed to the governor’s desk.
HB 2815, by Rep. Dave Hayes (R – Camano Island), would allow Island County to create a Regional Transportation Planning Organization. It is one of three counties in the state, along with Okanogan County and San Juan County, that do not have an RTPO.
HB 2815 passed 94-4-0-0 in the House on February 16, and 43-3-0-3 in the Senate on Tuesday. It is headed to the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 6299, by Sen. Curtis King (R – Yakima), would correct some drafting errors from 2nd Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5987, passed in 2015, which provided billions of dollars in revenue for highway projects and authority for billions of dollars in revenue for Sound Transit, upon voter approval of an ST3 package.
SB 6299 would set an $18 fee for an enhanced driver’s license or identicard instead of making them free through June 30, 2016. (After that, they cost $54, as prescribed in 2ESSB 5987.) It would also limit the total amount of the Commute Trip Reduction Tax Credit per year to $2.75 million. The bill would be retroactive to July 15, 2015, the effective date of 2ESSB 5987.
SB 6299 passed in the Senate 48-0-0-1 on February 9. It passed out of the House Transportation Committee Monday and has been placed on second reading by the Senate Rules Committee.
Substitute Senate Bill 6358, originally by Sen. King, requested by WSDOT, and amended in the Senate Tranportation Committee to make technical fixes, will establish WSDOT as the state’s safety oversight agency for Rail Fixed Guideway Public Transportation Systems not regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration. The RFGPTSs in Washington that will now have to report to WSDOT for safety and security oversight include Link, the monorail, and the various streetcars. The state has to institute this chain of command because, under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, failure to do so could jeopardize all Federal Transit Authority funds for the state.
SSB 6358 passed 48-0-0-1 in the Senate on February 15. It passed out of the House Transportation Committee on Monday, and sits in the House Rules Committee waiting to be scheduled for a floor vote.
SB 6614, by Sen. Steve Hobbs (D – Lake Stevens), would require the Office of Financial Management to oversee WSDOT’s establishment of objectives and performance measures for WSDOT and other state transportation agencies.
Annual state ferry system performance reports would first be reviewed and commented on by OFM, and also reviewed by the Joint Transportation Committee, prior to submittal to the Legislature and Governor by WSDOT.
WSDOT, rather than OFM, would submit biennial transportation progress attainment reports; however, OFM would first review and comment on the reports prior to submittal by WSDOT.
SB 6614 passed 47-0-0-2 on February 17. It passed out of the House Transportation Committee on Monday, as a striker amendment, and sits in the House Rules Committee waiting to be scheduled for a floor vote. The striker amendment changes an overlooked reference to WSDOT to instead be the OFM. The Senate will have to concur in the amendment before the bill can go to the governor’s desk.