Sunday, April 26, 2009

The final hours of the legislative session

The WA State Legislature is in the final hours of the 2009 (regular) session.

One bill we are tracking closely is SB 5433.

SB 5433 is the local funding options bill. There are various local government funding options and slightly policy changes in the bill. We are very supportive of this bill because there is language that will provide options for transit agencies to fill their large budget gaps.

SB 5433 will allow the King County Council to use some portion of the passenger-only ferry district money for Metro.

It will also allow transit agencies to put a voter approved $20 vehicle tab fee called congestion reduction tax on the ballot. This tax would require voter approval and would provide as a crucial tool to allow agencies to diversity their revenues from something other than the volatile sales tax and supplant their revenues which are falling off a cliff across the state.

The final bill that came out of the conference committee passed out of the House by 51-44 earlier today. The debate on the Senate floor for final passage of the bill is taking place right now. Watch it live here,

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