Rep. Jake Fey

Update: The post originally stated that Rep. Joan McBride was re-elected. Actually, she retired. The author apologizes for the error.

On December 13, the House Democratic Caucus elected its new leaders and new committee chairs. Rep. Jake Fey (D – Tacoma) was elected the new Chair of the House Transportation Committee, replacing the retiring Judy Clibborn (D – Mercer Island).

Rep. Fey gave a brief statement upon his election to the Transportation Committee Chairmanship. In part…

Businesses can hire people a lot faster than we can build highways, train stations and ferry terminals. Keeping up with that population growth is a massive challenge that requires not just more highways, but investments in trains, buses and other ways to get cars off the road. And in the end, long-term solutions on transportation will require creativity and cooperation. I look forward to listening to all stakeholders and lawmakers from both parties so we can move Washington forward and utilize all of our transportation alternatives, including mass transit.

Fey has been serving as Vice Chair of the current House Transportation Committee. He had a lot more to say about his views on his campaign website and his caucus page. While voting for the transportation package that authorized ST3, he has been an unabashed supporter of freeway expansions in Pierce County, and voted to reduce the ST3 car tabs each time the issue has come up.

House Transportation Committee Membership

Now that both the House Democratic and Republican Caucuses have made their committee assignments public, we know the full membership of the 2019 House Transportation Committee.

  • Jake Fey (D – Tacoma), Chair
  • Sharon Wylie (D – Vancouver), 1st Vice Chair
  • Vandana Slatter (D – Bellevue), 2nd Vice Chair
  • Javier Valdez (D – Seattle), 2nd Vice Chair
  • Andrew Barkis (R – Lacey), Ranking Minority Member
  • Jesse Young (R – Gig Harbor), Assistant Ranking Minority Member
  • Jim Walsh (R – Aberdeen), Assistant Ranking Minority Member
  • Matt Boehnke (R – Kennewick)
  • Kelly Chambers (R – Puyallup)
  • Mike Chapman (D – Port Angeles)
  • Tom Dent (R – Moses Lake)
  • Beth Doglio (D – Olympia)
  • Jeremie Dufault (R – Selah)
  • Debra Entenman (D – Kent)
  • Carolyn Eslick (R – Sultan)
  • Keith Goehner (R – Dryden)
  • Mia Gregerson (D – SeaTac)
  • Morgan Irwin (R – Enumclaw)
  • Shelley Kloba (D – Kirkland)
  • John Lovick (D – Mill Creek)
  • Bob McCaslin (R – Spokane Valley)
  • Jared Mead (D – Mill Creek)
  • Ed Orcutt (R – Kalama)
  • Lillian Ortiz-Self (D – Mukilteo)
  • Dave Paul (D – Oak Harbor)
  • Mike Pellicciotti (D – Federal Way)
  • Bill Ramos (D – Issaquah)
  • Marcus Riccelli (D – Spokane)
  • Sharon Shewmake (D – Bellingham)
  • Sutherland (R – Granite Falls)
  • Luanne Van Werven (R – Lynden)

With both current Republican leaders on the committee — Mark Harmsworth (Mill Creek) and Mark Hargrove (Covington) — defeated in their re-election bids, Republicans had to bring in new leadership. They passed over previous Ranking Minority Member Orcutt, and brought in Barkis, to take over as Ranking Minority Member, and Walsh, to serve as the second Assistant Ranking Minority Member, even though they are not on the current committee. Another Republican committee member, Dave Hayes (R – Camano Island) was also defeated in his re-election bid. Re-elected Matt Shea (R – Spokane Valley) is leaving the committee. Current committee Republicans Liz Pike (Camas), Jay Rodne (Snoqualmie), and Melanie Stambaugh (Puyallup) are retiring voluntarily from the House.

Two re-elected Democrats are leaving the committee: Jeff Morris (Mount Vernon), and Gael Tarleton (Seattle). Clibborn and Joan McBride (Kirkland) are the only Democrats on the committee who are retiring. Tarleton’s departure leaves Seattle with only one member on the committee (2nd Vice Chair Valdez). Tarleton has been elected Chair of the House Finance Committee, replacing the retiring Kristine Lytton (Anacortes)

Democrats have 7 new members (Slatter, Doglio, Entenman, Mead, Paul, Ramos, and Shewmake) and Republicans have 10 new members (Barkis, Walsh, Boehnke, Chambers, Dent, Dufault, Eslick, Goehner, McCaslin, and Sutherland) on the committee, which has been augmented from 25 members this year to 31 members next year. If you are doing the math, that is only 4 returning Republicans out of 14 returning members.

Senate Transportation Committee

Both the Senate Democratic and Republican Caucuses have selected their members for the 2019 Senate Transportation Committee. The committee membership will be:

  • Steve Hobbs (D – Lake Stevens), Chair
  • Rebecca Saldaña (D – Seattle), Vice Chair
  • Curtis King (R – Yakima), Ranking Minority Member
  • Tim Sheldon (D, but in R Caucus – Potlatch), Assistant Ranking Minority Member
  • Annette Cleveland (D – Vancouver)
  • Mona Das (D – Covington)
  • Phil Fortunato (R – Auburn)
  • Marko Liias (D – Everett)
  • Joe Nguyen (D – Seattle)
  • Steve O’Ban (R – University Place)
  • Mike Padden (R – Spokane Valley)
  • Emily Randall (D – Bremerton)
  • Dean Takko (D – Longview)
  • Claire Wilson (D – Federal Way)
  • Hans Zieger (R – Puyallup)

Das, Nguyen, Padden, Randall, and Wilson are new to the committee. The five departing members are Maralyn Chase (D – Esperance), who lost her re-election bid, Manka Dhingra (D – Redmond), John McCoy (D – Tulalip), Maureen Walsh (R – College Place) and Lisa Wellman (D – Mercer Island).

17 Replies to “Fey to Lead House Transportation Committee”

  1. Not to pick nits, but “Three re-elected Democrats are leaving the committee: Joan McBride (Kirkland)….Clibborn is the only Democrat on the committee who is retiring.” is incorrect. McBride retired (didn’t run for reelection).

  2. C’mon, Brent, give Jake a Break. OK, sign says no Compression Brakes now, and doubt average Pierce County mall-goer ever drove a load of logs down to the mill. Maybe for Gray’s Harbor Transit, a Jake Brake could be a good sound effect to have on a bus outside PA, though.

    Anyhow my read is that he’s got his case of Freeway Unabashment under control to where he’s no longer contagious. Maybe we could get with his care team for a recently-developed assessment.

    Can his system handle stipulation that every freeway follow the lead we pioneered with DSTT, meaning at least one lane structured for eventual conversion to rail? Not necessary to have the tracks themselves in the pavement from the beginning.

    Just have grooves “blockouts” I think they’re called, cast into the roadbed, and filled with cement that can be skill-sawed and jackhammered out when it’s time to covert to trains. Really not advocating keeping LINK to freeway alignments. Just stressing importance of planning transit-conversion into highway design itself.

    Though several miles of Sacramento’s light rail tramway runs on berms and bridges laid out for a freeway. If it’ll take trucks it’ll take trains…though not the other way around.


  3. I’m curious as to why the transportation committees are so big. Is there an advantage to having roughly 1/3 of the state legislature in this 1 committee?

    1. Just members being able to say they brought money back to their districts for roads and bridges. A popular campaign point.

    2. Each chamber has “policy committees” and “fiscal committees”, plus their respective Rules Committees. The House fiscal committees are Appropriations, Capital Budget, Finance, and Transportation. The Senate Fiscal Committees are Transportation and Ways & Means. Most bills that have a fiscal note over a certain limit have to go through a fiscal committee once they get through their policy committee. In the case of transportation bills, those tend to just have to go through the Transportation Committees. Occasionally, Transportation will then refer the bill to one of the other fiscal committees, but usually as a passive aggressive delay tactic. Senators can’t serve on both Transportation and Ways & Means, as both meet simultaneously. Representatives can’t serve on both Transportation and Appropriations, as both meet simultaneously.

      The state has three major 2-year budgets it must pass every odd-number year: Capital, Operations, and Transportation. Supplemental versions of each are passed in each even-numbered year. Sometimes, Transportation Capital budgets are passed in addition to Transportation Operations.

      The Operations Budget mostly just struggles to meet mandates set by the Constitution and collective previous legislatures. Transportation is where the largest amount of fungible (within the highway realm) money is, so it is where lawmakers can get their names engraved on plaques and get to cut ribbons. The capital budget has that going for it too, but on a smaller scale.

  4. It would be nice to get a discussion going about what the legislative priorities are for this session. I can think of a few things:

    1) Change HOV-2 to HOV-3 if it doesn’t meet the federal standard for HOV lanes (which I believe is 45 mph 90 percent of the time).

    2) Allow for automatic ticketing for HOV violations.

    3) Allow simple, majority vote passage for transit packages (independent of ST3). This would allow a city like Seattle or Bellevue to spend money on transit. To be honest, I don’t know what the rules are, but I think they are fairly restrictive (otherwise we would spend a lot more money on transit in those areas).

  5. Ross, I’d like your thoughts on some recent thinking of mine. For instance, suppose we concentrate on getting every possible Bellevue-Everett carload onto guaranteed a 70 mph triple artic’ bus. Jersey barrier for a lane-stripe. Would that clear enough cars out of everybody else’s way we wouldn’t have to regulate between +2 and +3? And let people use their smartphone to get a show-up time onto their entry ramp?

    And start shifting the unit of transit governance from the subarea to the CORRIDOR. Anybody see “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, about vicious ongoing war between little subareas with names like “The Republic of Zubrowka” and “The Lutz Blitz”? Really was Eastern Europe leading up to WWII.

    “Heimat des Ballards” and “Universitätsviertel versus “Das Fürstentum von Westen von Seattle” But instead of hateful little rabid weasels with bad Bela Lugosi accents, a a single formidable dragon-serpent with catenaries for blood vessels. Joe gets to name him. Or her. Sorry, but Claudia’s already been named to the throne of CrossKirklandsland.

    With its own elected reps on the Sound Transit Board. At least all the intransigence would be the inertia of motion, not rest. See the movie. The Austrians were always good with tramways like the one with the blue and white trains in Trieste- that cable-grip will produce single-seat ride from Ballard to Leschi via the Counterbalance.

    Austro Hungarian Empire. Look it up. With all the ethnicities, instead of a council member it should have a Grand Duke!



    And that last arterial from top of Jackson down to the Lake at Leschi just begs for it! As you see, the trains are already blue and white, so the blue-green can just be reflectors.

    Had to put this one in again because just found out at least one FHS driver reads STB. Who can testify that no you can’t do this just as good with buses. I mean, look at it!


  7. What percentage of trips by all forms of transportation are in, through, from or to Seattle on any given day? I’m guessing it’s significantly higher than the percentage of members of the House Transportation Committee. Which is why we get all these road projects in Pierce County and why we get the “spine at all cost” approach of Sound Transit and why we had to live with 40-40-20 from Metro for many years. I work downtown and I’m impacted by every car trip that comes into the city by whatever roads, even as a cyclist, pedestrian and transit rider. Yet only one legislator will sit on the committee. You get what you pay for, I guess.

    1. Representation is based on residency. Seattle is the middle of an isthmus so there is certainly more people going all the way through the city than is typical in other cities. Most of these are on I-5, which is one reason I-5 is so congested. But that was also one of the arguments for building the 99 tunnel.

      1. If representation on the committee – Breadbaker’s point – were based on residency, Seattle would have about 10% of the members, or 3. We have one. The Sound Transit district as a whole fares little better – with over 40% of the state’s population there are 11 committee members, or just a bit over 33%.

        I think transit and other non-highway items will still have a tough slog through this legislature – better than before, I imagine, but not game-changing.

  8. “Marko Liias (D – Everett)”

    This isn’t accurate. Senator Liias represents the 21st LD which is mostly Mukilteo, parts of Edmonds, the unincorporated area north and east of Lynnwood, along with a few precincts in south Everett. Most of Everett is in the 38th LD.

      1. Thanks for the clarification, though it seems rather arbitrary and inconsistent….

        My preference would be to see each relevant state senator/house member listed beside his/her legislative district number along with the general location, and not said representative’s place of residence. (I think that’s generally the norm in the media I come across.) With that said, I understand your choice to use the latter as your shorthand in the listings above. So, again, thanks for the clarification. I really appreciated the detailed piece and am glad to see one of my house members as well as my state senator will be at the table.

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