As a result of Manka Dhingra’s election, giving Democrats a solid majority in the State Senate (with Sen. Tim Sheldon caucusing with the Republicans), the Senate Democratic Caucus has had to choose new Senate leadership and committee leadership, and redo committee assignments. The new assignments were announced on November 14:
Of particular interest to all matters transit, Steve Hobbs (D – Lake Stevens) will take the reigns of the Senate Transportation Committee from Curtis King (R – Yakima). Rebecca Saldaña (D – Seattle) has been promoted to Vice Chair of the committee. Marko Liias (D – Lynnwood) remains on the committee, where he has been a hard-core supporter of Sound Transit. He is giving up the second-ranking Democrat position on the committee due to being elected by his caucus to serve as Floor Leader.
Other Democrats continuing on the Transportation Committee include Annette Cleveland (D – Vancouver) and Dean Takko (D – Longview)
New Democrats on the committee include Maralyn Chase (D – Edmonds), John McCoy (D – Tulalip), Lisa Wellman (D – Mercer Island), and Dhingra (D – Redmond).
Kevin Van de Wege (D – Sequim) is the only member of the caucus who will be exiting the Transportation Committee.