Inslee won’t rule out third special session for transportation

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Friday, June 21, 2013 4:49pm
  • Local News

Approving a new budget may be the most important task for state lawmakers in this second not-so-special session.

But it may not be the last thing they do before adjourning for the year.

Gov. Jay Inslee said this afternoon he wants the Legislature to approve a transportation funding package before they wrap up and depart.

If not, there’s a chance he’d call them back for a third overtime.

“I’ve said from Day One that I want this Legislature to approve a transportation package and I remain very hopeful it will get done this session,” he told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

“I intend to insist that legislators stay until they get their jobs done. And one of those important jobs is to deal with deficient bridges, deficient roads, needs for new construction, light rail systems and they should not go home until they get that job done.”

So might he call them back for a third special session?

“I don’t think there’s a reason for that,” he said. “I’ll tell you that this is probably the number one issue for job creation in the state of Washington so it is certainly not something I would rule out.”

Earlier this week Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, cautioned against hoping for success by keeping lawmakers in town for any length of time once the budget is done.

“Go to any caucus and say, ‘Let’s spend July here doing transportation’ and see what their reactions are,” he said.

Nonetheless, Inslee’s comments should be music to the ears of those representing cities, counties, business groups, labor unions and environmental organizations who’ve been agitating for action on a multi-billion dollar transportation funding package.

They may get their wish in the House with a vote once the operating and capital budgets are approved. Speaker Frank Chopp has told anyone who will listen that that is the only time it will come up – if it comes up.

“We’re getting it ready. We’re working to get it done,” said Democratic Rep. Judy Clibborn of Mercer Island, the chairwoman of the House Transportation and the author of the package. “It can move fast.”

Clibborn’s plan calls for spending roughly $8.6 billion on projects over a 12-year period. The biggest chunk of that money would come from a 10-cent hike in the gas tax phased in over a four-year period.

While it seems the House would pass her plan, its fate is far from certain in the Senate.

Senate Majority Coalition leaders have repeatedly said there’s little interest in acting on the plan if it continues to include $450 million for building a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River.

More in Local News

Turkey talk: Kindergartners explain the Thanksgiving holiday

Our annual pilgrimage led us this year to Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett.

Police locate suspect in Snohomish River after he fled

They used a thermal-imaging camera to locate the man in the water near Dagmars Marina.

Electrical fire on roof of Marysville school extinguished

There was no apparent structural damage to Cascade Elementary School.

As police closed in, 2 heavily armed pot-shop robbers fled

Cops surrounded the place in Mountlake Terrace. The suspects were tracked by dogs and apprehended nearby.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Front Porch

EVENTS Holiday lights parade in Monroe Monroe will host a Holiday Lights… Continue reading

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Most Read