‘Listening tour’ on roads, taxes coming to Everett

EVERETT — Residents on Wednesday can tell state Senate leaders what they think of a plan to boost the gas tax to fund improvements in Washington’s transportation system.

Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, co-chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee, will conduct the meeting in which the public can comment on proposals to raise revenue and make reforms in the way highway projects are undertaken.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the meeting rooms on the first floor of the Snohomish County administration building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.

This will be the second of 10 stops on a “listening tour” put together by King and his Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate. The first meeting took place Tuesday in Bellevue.

King and Eide are slated to make opening comments. Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson will then outline major transportation projects in the pipeline for the region area.

Transportation funding was one of the most debated issues in the regular session and two special sessions this year.

House Democrats backed a nearly $10 billion funding package anchored by a 10.5-cent hike in the gas tax.

The Senate coalition did not vote on the plan as leaders said they wanted to spend time during the interim collecting input from the public. Republicans also want to measure public support for reform ideas they want approved alongside a revenue package.

Gov. Jay Inslee trumpeted the need for an infusion of funding in a visit to Lynnwood last week. He has said he will call a special session this winter if House and Senate leaders strike a deal.

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