Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Legislative update

Yesterday was the first major cut-off in the Legislature, meaning any policy bills that did not make it off the floor of the House of origin are essentially dead.

The short story is things do not look great for transit and multi-modal initiatives this year in this tough general revenue focused short session.

HB 2855:
The transit rescue package that would have provided a local option tool to save transit across the state, unfortunately did not make it to a floor vote. The prime sponsor, Rep. Marko Liias, made a heroic effort to bring it up for a vote. The caucus appetite for taking a local option on for transit simply was not there this session. TCC and coalition members sent over 500 e-mails to legislators in 2 days asking them to save transit. Thank you for all of your hard work and stay tuned as we continue to push the legislature to give transit more options besides cutting service 15-50% across the state. Updated information on how you can help will be at a new page on our website entitled "Save My Bus Service".

HB 2911:
The Complete Streets bill unfortunately also died before cut-off last night. We are working with the prime sponsors and others to get portions of the bill inserted into the transportation budget. We will also work with coalition partners and WSDOT to come back with a bolder proposal next year during the long session.

HB 3001:
The Bike Alliance bicycle education bill is a bright spot during this session. The Bike Alliance was able to get broad bi-partisan support for this legislation and it passed off the house floor unanimously.

SB 5838: The Cascade Bike Club's vulnerable users bill made it onto the Senate floor calendar but sadly also did not make it up for a floor vote.

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