Say what you will about State Sen. Steve O’Ban’s package of bills and investigations attacking Sound Transit, but at least he’s not circumventing the normal legislative process. When he didn’t get his way last session, he didn’t wait to catch his opponents off guard and strike fast. He took his show on the road to the affected communities. Last week, he resubmitted some of his bills from last year, with minor changes, all of which will have to go through normal process if they are to become law.
Senate Bill 6164 and SB 6299 would allow voters within a county to nullify their Sound Transit taxes by a countywide vote. The bills do not limit the vote to those in the ST taxing district within a county, nor relieve Sound Transit of any obligation to build or operate transit within a county that votes to nullify ST taxes.
SB 6301 would elect Sound Transit Board members from 11 single-member districts. Besides ignoring the principle that you don’t change a board’s leadership simply because you want the organization to fail in its mission, the devil remains in the gerrymandering details.
SB 6303 would once again try to impose a Kelley Blue Book or lesser private methodology on MVET tax determination, despite it not being bondable.
These bills face a long road to becoming law: a committee public hearing in the Senate, vote out of committee, vote out of the Senate Rules Committee, vote in the Senate, a committee public hearing in the House, vote out of its committee and House Rules, and a vote in the House. That’s still dozens of steps short of the Seattle Process, but it is a lot more than what transit advocates got from House Democrats last week.