Democrats revamp roads package with gas tax hikes

House Democrats have put forth a new version of a multi-billion dollar transportation package and positioned it for a vote as early as today.

Under the plan, the state would spend $9.7 billion on highways, bridges, ferries and bus service in the next 12 years.

One of the biggest chunks of money would come from a 10.5-cent increase in the gas tax starting with a hike of 6 cents a gallon on Aug. 1 and then a 4.5-cent increase on July 1, 2014.

The bill drops a special 3-cent per gallon increase to pay for the Highway 520 bridge that had been approved by the House Transportation Committee in April.

Projects to be undertaken with the money cover 11 pages in this document.

Most eyes in the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus will settle on the line item for the Columbia River Crossing which shows a $262.4 million expenditure in the next biennium.

The legislation authorizes the issuance of up to $650 million in bonds toward building a new bridge on I-5 over the Columbia River. It also prohibits spending a lot of the money until the U.S. Coast Guard approves a permit for the project and agreements are reached on the construction and operation of light rail service between Vancouver and Portland.

House Bill 1954 is on the floor calendar meaning it could be brought up for a vote whenever the leadership is ready.

Speaker Frank Chopp has said in the past that a vote would not occur until after an operating budget agreement is in hand.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Inslee said last week he doesn’t want lawmakers to leave Olympia without passing a transportation funding bill – even if it means he summons them for a third special session.

More in Local News

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Cool additions at an elementary school in Everett

A totem pole and new gardens grace the courtyard of Whittier Elementary School.

Kids suspected in school’s smashed windows and other damage

The cost of the damage at Explorer Middle School in south Everett is estimated to be $5,000.

Recall issued for about 1,250 pounds of meat

Camano Island’s Sausage Haus products might be contaminated.

3 women seek open seat in 39th District

The GOP nominees hope to fill the opening created by the resignation of Republican John Koster.

Lake Stevens High senior has an entrepreneurial mind

John Cramer crafts and sells designer pens to help pay for college

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

Cellphone carrier substation in Snohomish vandalized

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a… Continue reading

Driver flees deputy in Everett, then crashes, injuring 2

The suspect fled on foot but was tracked down and captured nearby. He was treated for injuries.

Most Read