Transportation

Police enforcing state law against Texting While Driving

April 16, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Police enforcing state law against Texting While Driving

For years, police and traffic safety experts have said texting while driving can be as deadly as drunk driving. Police across western Washington are driving that message home, with a coordinated enforcement of Washington state laws against texting while driving. As Officer Bill Wingrove said in this KIRO 7 piece about the effort, “A lot of people do not take it seriously and it’s a leading cause within traffic fatalities and serious injuries here in Washington — 20 percent just … Continue reading

Stronger parking rights for people with disabilities

April 3, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Stronger parking rights for people with disabilities

A bill aimed at stopping abuse of special-parking placards and licenses for people with disabilities has been signed into state law. The bipartisan measure cleared both chambers unanimously after it was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Sam Hunt. A Department of Licensing report submitted to the Legislature last year included recommendations that went into the crafting of this year’s legislation. Key terms of the new law increase the validity of temporary parking permits from six months to a year. Also, … Continue reading

Did you take your studded tires off yet?

April 1, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Did you take your studded tires off yet?

A $124 ticket could be headed your way if you didn’t get those snow tires off your vehicles by yesterday. The Washington State Department of Transportation sent out a reminder last week that the deadline to remove studded tires was Monday, March 31st. With the weather warming up and travel becoming safer, it’s important for drivers to switch over to avoid causing damage to roadways. Road crews will be closely monitoring weather forecasts and will be on call in the … Continue reading

Sound Transit eastlink route animation

March 27, 2014 - Rep. Ross Hunter

Sound Transit eastlink route animation

I attended a Bellevue Downtown Association meeting last week where the following animation was presented, along with a great talk on what the downtown Bellevue light rail station will look like. The animation takes about 12 minutes, but really allows you to see where the train will go and how it will integrate into both Bellevue and Redmond. Must-See TV! http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/East-Link-Extension/East-Link-Extension-document-archive/Video-East-Link-animation    

Follow-up from telephone town hall: Foster care and 520 bridge schedule

March 27, 2014 - Rep. Ross Hunter

Follow-up from telephone town hall: Foster care and 520 bridge schedule

Thanks for the 4000-5000 folks who listened to a segment of our telephone town hall last week. There were a lot of questions asked. If you have an extra hour and want to listen to the recording of the questions I answered here it is. I said I’d answer questions left on voice mail at the end, and we had the following two that we didn’t get to: 520 – When will Construction End? (Ever?) According to the WSDOT website, … Continue reading

New 144-Car Ferry Finished

March 25, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

New 144-Car Ferry Finished

As the Governor prepares to sign a 2014 Supplemental Transportation budget that funds a third much-needed Olympic-class ferry, Washington ferry riders received another bit of good news this week: The first new 144-car vessel in the series is off the assembly line. After several field tests to ensure everything is in place, the new vessel – the Tokitae – will go into service on the Mukilteo-Clinton route. It will replace the Cathlamet, which is being moved to the Vashon Island … Continue reading

And while we’re talking transportation — are cars becoming a thing of the past?

March 19, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

And while we’re talking transportation — are cars becoming a thing of the past?

Americans are moving away from cars and towards alternative modes of transportation. A new report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) says that transit ridership in the US is at its highest level in 57 years. In 2013, Americans took more than 10.7 billion trips on public transportation. Heavy rail (subways and elevated trains) reported a 2.8 percent increase in ridership; commuter rail ridership increased by 2.1 percent; and light rail (modern streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) increased an … Continue reading

More electric vehicle charging stations coming to Sea-Tac

March 17, 2014 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

These electric vehicle charging stations are a great addition to our network! I supported the bill that ensured Tesla could keep selling electric vehicles in Washington state, in contrast to several states that have made Tesla’s direct sales business model illegal. This is just one more way Washington is building a clean energy future. From the Kent Reporter: Getting ‘plugged-in’ is easier than ever at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The Port of Seattle recently opened 36 new electric vehicle charging stations … Continue reading

What is a “Road User Charge?”

March 12, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

What is a “Road User Charge?”

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed a supplemental transportation budget with strong bipartisan support. It was a no new taxes budget that continued funding for a number of important construction projects, leveraged federal money, and invested in reforms at WSDOT and DOT that will improve service and efficiency. One of the most important provisions of the budget, however, was focused entirely on future of our transportation system: studying the potential of a Road User Charge. The supplemental transportation … Continue reading

Driving-decrease programs saluted in WashPIRG report

February 6, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Driving-decrease programs saluted in WashPIRG report

Like many other schools around the country, Washington’s colleges and universities are working to cut student-driving to, from, and around campus. Innovative transportation programs advanced in many Washington higher-education  institutions are celebrated in a new report from the WashPIRG Foundation. The colleges’ driving-decrease tactics hailed in the foundation’s report are aimed at turning more personal-vehicle drivers into commuter-vehicle passengers. This new WashPIRG report praises strategies that work toward: Emphasizing the fact that we need a wider range of transportation options. … Continue reading

2014 Session Update

February 1, 2014 - Rep. Ross Hunter

2014 Session Update

Table of Contents Introduction DREAM Act Early Learning Quality Transportation K-12 Education 24-Credit Graduation Requirement Teacher and Principal Evaluation Changes Supplemental Budget Issues People are Writing in About Oil Tax Loophole Background Checks for Gun Purchasers Age Wave Study Hospital Mergers Contact Me   Introduction Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve the community in the Legislature. This is my 12th year in this role and I am proud to have been elected by my peers to … Continue reading

Washington among top states for safe driving regulations

January 27, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington among top states for safe driving regulations

Our roads and bridges may be dangerously outdated and in need of new funding for repairs, but at least Washingtonians are sensible when it comes to the laws we have to encourage people to drive safer. According to a new report released by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a coalition of business and public safety groups, Washington ranked in the top ten states for highway safety regulations that keep people safe. Washington’s high score was due to our … Continue reading

Newly appointed 21st Legislative District representative gets committee assignments

January 27, 2014 - Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self

Newly appointed 21st Legislative District representative gets committee assignments

State Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self has been assigned to positions on theEarly Learning & Human Services Committee, the Environment Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Ortiz-Self is taking the seat vacated by Rep. Marko Liias, who moved on to the Senate to replace retired Sen. Paull Shin. “A quality education starting at a young age is the solution to so many of the social problems we face,” said  Ortiz-Self, a counselor at North Middle School, whose extensive work in numerous child service … Continue reading

ICYMI: Speaker Chopp & Rep. Sullivan on TVW’s Inside Olympia

January 20, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

ICYMI: Speaker Chopp & Rep. Sullivan on TVW’s Inside Olympia

Speaker Frank Chopp and Majority Leader Pat Sullivan spoke with TVW’s Austin Jenkins on Inside Olympia. They discuss issues that will be front and center for the 2014 legislative session like education, jobs, transportation, and health care.    

Op-ed by Rep. Pat Sullivan: Washington’s future starts now – be a part of it!

January 9, 2014 - Rep. Pat Sullivan

Op-ed by Rep. Pat Sullivan: Washington’s future starts now – be a part of it!

The 2014 Legislative Session starts next Monday and, although it is only a 60-day session, there are a lot of important issues on the table.  Among the most pressing are: Transportation – There is substantial need for infrastructure improvements at both the state and local levels, including SR 167. We also need to make sure our transit system is adequate for our communities. Additionally, there have been calls for policy changes to our transportation systems. How should the state move … Continue reading

New online map provides transparency in capital, transportation spending

January 7, 2014 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli

New online map provides transparency in capital, transportation spending

“Show me the money!” Residents across Washington can now see exactly where their tax dollars are being spent on capital and transportation projects. A new online map launched today by the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program Committee (LEAP) can now be viewed by the public at: http://fiscal.wa.gov/WebMaps.aspx. The user-friendly map displays project spending by legislative district and county. Legislation signed into law last year to provide more transparency in the state’s spending activities was sponsored by Rep. Brad Hawkins, R-East … Continue reading

Survey: What are your transportation priorities?

December 23, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Survey: What are your transportation priorities?

Please take this brief survey before January 2nd about how you use transportation to get around. During the legislative session, we’ll be considering various bills. Thank you so much for helping me represent you most effectively. We will post the results of the survey on my legislative website and through social media before January 13th, the opening day of the 2014 legislative session. Wishing you a peaceful holiday season. Your voice in Olympia, Gael

How walkable is Washington?

December 18, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

How walkable is Washington?

Using census data for cities with a population of more than 100,000, Governing Magazine has released a new study on the walkability of cities that shows an increasing number of people are choosing to walk to work – rather than drive, bicycle, or even take public transit – in some urban areas across the country. No city in Washington made the top ten most walkable cities nationally, but both Seattle and Tacoma were among those with the largest growth in … Continue reading

Should we go over the river or through the woods to get to Grandmother’s house?

December 16, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Should we go over the river or through the woods to get to Grandmother’s house?

The weather outside is frightful. So where can you find the best information about whether it’s best to hop in your car and risk freezing rain or drive across the mountains? The TV weather folks are a good start, but they get a lot of their information from a source that you have the same access to: the Washington State Department of Transportation. WSDOT keeps an eye, literally, on all of these things. There are all kinds of cameras hooked … Continue reading

Transportation

December 4, 2013 - Rep. Ross Hunter

Transportation

I made some remarks at the Bellevue Rotary yesterday that seem to have been misinterpreted by some people, so I’m clarifying: Passing a transportation package this session is incredibly important for the Puget Sound region. I support a well-designed package. Starting in January King County Metro will start reducing service to make up for an expiring car tab fee the state authorized them to charge several years ago. You can see the proposed reductions here. The Eastside cuts will result … Continue reading

Seaquist proposes to rollback and cap Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls

December 3, 2013 - Rep. Larry Seaquist

Seaquist proposes to rollback and cap Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls

State Representative Larry Seaquist is calling for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB) to be included in the gas tax deal-making. “We are paying 100% of the bridge costs,” said Seaquist. “If we are going to raise gas taxes, part of that must be used to restore simple fairness to our bridge users.” “We were the state’s tolling guinea pig,” said Seaquist. “One of the big lessons in tolling is that the cost of these mega-projects needs to be spread fairly.” … Continue reading

Next-generation rail making inroads back east

November 26, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Next-generation rail making inroads back east

As negotiations continue on a transportation revenue package here in Washington, elected officials on the East Coast are weighing a proposal to install advanced, high-speed rail from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. Long thought to be the property of science fiction movies, magnetic levitation – MagLev – rail systems have successfully been constructed and operated in Europe and Japan. And according to the New York Times, the Japanese government has offered to pay for a substantial portion of a D.C.-Baltimore MagLev … Continue reading

See what WSDOT has in store for your area

November 25, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

See what WSDOT has in store for your area

The 2014-2017 Draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which includes more than 1,000 projects across the state, is now available. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) worked closely with metropolitan and regional transportation planning organizations to develop a list of projects that are consistent with local, regional and state plans. The STIP projects include pavement overlays, roadway widening, bridge replacement or repair, signal systems, safety enhancements, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and transit facilities. Are any of those improvements in … Continue reading

Transportation talks…moving!

November 20, 2013 - Rep. Larry Springer

Having a 21st century transportation system benefits everyone in Washington.  I know it, and the people of Washington know it.  I’ve heard repeatedly from moms, dads, workers, students, senior citizens and business owners who rely on our transportation system and want the legislature to pass a revenue package that keeps our communities connected and our businesses flourishing. I want the same thing.  Five months ago the House passed a $10 billion transportation revenue package, funded mainly through a 10.5 cent … Continue reading

Rental-car companies dodging traffic tickets

November 19, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Rental-car companies dodging traffic tickets

How often do you think a private citizen gets away with simply ignoring a traffic ticket? If you answered, “Pretty darn seldom” — Bingo! You’re right. Vehicle-registration and license-tab renewal, not to mention a new driver’s license, can be denied to a registered owner of a vehicle with two or more unpaid tickets. But not so, says current state law, if the vehicle is “leased or rented under a bona fide commercial vehicle lease or rental agreement.” And it’s not … Continue reading

New tech will combat texting while driving

November 12, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Washington state has always worked to make our roadways more safe. We were early adopters of seat belt laws, drunk driving laws, and more recently, graduated drivers licensing. We were also early adopters of bans on texting while driving. While the goals of such laws are to reduce traffic collisions and make our roads safer, laws alone can’t solve the entire problem. Parents teaching and modeling good behavior is key. Proper education in traffic safety courses is also important. And … Continue reading

Toll tales

November 1, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Toll tales

The Legislature will be taking a close look at transportation issues in the next few months, and questions about tolls on highways and bridges are sure to be key parts of the discussion. The state Department of Transportation recently wrapped up public hearings in Seattle, Bellevue and Mercer Island on charging tolls on the Interstate-90 bridge across Lake Washington to help pay for the new State Route 520 bridge that crosses the lake a few miles to the north. WSDOT … Continue reading

We’re getting a good economic bang for our driving buck

October 22, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

We’re getting a good economic bang for our driving buck

We motorists in the Evergreen State contribute more to our economy than drivers in most other states contribute to theirs, says a recent study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). Essentially, this analysis compares the amount of miles we travel to the amount created or spent (i.e., each state’s gross domestic product, or GDP) when we get to where we’re going. The research here at hand — “Distance Driven and Economic Activity” — looks at the 50 … Continue reading

I-90 tolling proposal public input opportunity

October 8, 2013 - Rep. Ross Hunter

I received the following memo from WSDOT this week. We are entering the phase of finalizing the funding plan for the Western landing for 520. One of the options is tolling I-90 to pay for the remaining $1.4 billion in work to be done. We currently have enough money in the budget to connect the 6-lane bridge to Montlake, but not go all the way to I-5, and the Westbound connection from Montlake to Foster Island is somewhat crippled. The … Continue reading

Statement from Rep. Tharinger on co-chairmanship of ‘age wave’ committee

September 30, 2013 - Rep. Tharinger

Representative Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness) has offered the following statement regarding his appointment as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and Disability: “Washingtonians are living longer, healthier and more independent lifestyles than ever before. This is great news – but it also presents us with a unique set of challenges. Last session, we created the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and Disability to come up with a plan of action to meet the long-term needs of a population that … Continue reading

SR 520 westbound closure details

September 23, 2013 - Rep. Ross Hunter

SR 520 westbound closure details

Overnight closures on westbound 520 from 92nd Avenue NE to Montlake Boulevard will occur until mid-October as part of the West Connections Bridge project. Westbound closure schedule 11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, to 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20 11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, to 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27 11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, to 5 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4 11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, to 5 a.m. Wednesday, … Continue reading

Session update from Ross

September 20, 2013 - Rep. Ross Hunter

Session update from Ross

Session Update As always, thank you for allowing me to serve you in the Legislature. It’s an honor and a privilege. This year the “privilege” part got a little weak towards the end of 6 months in Olympia, but the we finally got a budget done. It’s a budget I’m pleased with, mostly. This newsletter has a number of sections – I’ve included the top couple of paragraphs in this email, with the remainder of the stories on my web … Continue reading

Get ready for westbound SR 520 closures on Thursday nights

September 16, 2013 - Rep. Ross Hunter

Get ready for westbound SR 520 closures on Thursday nights

Useful info from WSDOT. Construction closures are aggravating, but getting the bridge done more quickly saves money and gets the whole project done faster. Construction of the new West Connection Bridge is in full swing so please plan ahead for weekly closures of westbound SR 520. Crews will close all westbound lanes from 92nd Avenue NE to Montlake Boulevard beginning 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday each week from Sept. 19 through Oct. 17. Before and after each full … Continue reading

The transportation dilemma: more people driving more miles on crumbling highways

September 16, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

The transportation dilemma: more people driving more miles on crumbling highways

Sometimes, a good thing can also be a bad thing. Our state’s population is growing, because people want to live here. The Seattle area just created more jobs than any other metro region in America. So more people are driving on our highways – yet they’re using less gas, because cars are so much more fuel efficient than before. Most people would say that’s a win, and it is great that people are getting better mileage and paying less to … Continue reading

Transportation hearing highlights challenges to economic competitiveness

September 11, 2013 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

The Joint Transportation Committee met Wednesday at Sound Transit’s Union Station to hear testimony on the status of Washington’s ports and transportation systems, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing both entities. “We heard today from industry leaders of all stripes about the importance of being able to move their goods quickly and efficiently, both across the state and to markets overseas,” said House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island). “Washington’s short- and long-term economic competitiveness rests on our … Continue reading

Video: Reps. Takko and Blake tour bridge construction projects

September 3, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

​We were all shaken by the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge back in May. Fortunately, bridges all across Washington state are undergoing critical renovations and upgrades. These improvements won’t just keep us all safe – they create jobs and spur economic development. Reps. Dean Takko and Brian Blake recently spent an afternoon checking up on some of the these projects in the 19th legislative district. Check out the short video below highlighting their stops!  

Join me August 6 for a town hall discussion

July 29, 2013 - Rep. Monica Stonier

Join me August 6 for a town hall discussion

Please join me on Tuesday, August 6th at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the the Cascade Public Library for a town hall. (600 NE 136th Ave Vancouver, WA 98684) I’ll provide a recap of what happened – and what didn’t happen – during the 2013 legislative session. I’ll also share my thoughts on what the 2014 session looks like going forward. But most importantly, I want to hear from you. What did you like out of this session? … Continue reading

Growing transit communities

July 25, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Growing transit communities

We’re all in this together. Safe transportation and transit options must be our region’s top priorities for all our communities. Check out this latest newsletter from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Moeller, Wylie and Cleveland comment on Columbia River Crossing impasse

June 29, 2013 - Reps. Jim Moeller and Sharon Wylie, and Sen. Annette Cleveland

Moeller, Wylie and Cleveland comment on Columbia River Crossing impasse

Rep. Jim Moeller, Rep. Sharon Wylie and Sen. Annette Cleveland released the following statements today after a proposed transportation revenue package to fund the Columbia River Crossing failed in a final bid to be brought to the Senate floor on the final day of the second legislative special session: “I am very disappointed in the shortsightedness of some of my colleagues on this CRC issue. They simply failed to embrace the simple fact that transportation is about investing in our … Continue reading

Moving Washington forward…..at least in the House

June 28, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the Connecting Washington package, which would modernize Washington’s transportation infrastructure and create as many as 100,000 jobs across the state. House Bill 1954 and House Bill 1955 would generate $10.3 billion for critical investments in Washington’s transportation system. Those funds would be direct to projects and programs that reduce gridlock, improve safety and integrity of our roads and bridges, protect transportation choices and spur economic development. Among the programs and projects funded by the … Continue reading

House passes transportation revenue package

June 27, 2013 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

House passes transportation revenue package

The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 1954 and House Bill 1955, which would fund $10.3 billion in transportation projects and programs while creating as many as 100,000 jobs across the state. “From the child going to school each day to the farmer whose crops travel through our ports to markets abroad, the Connecting Washington package is about the infrastructure and jobs that will move Washington forward,” said Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island).  The package includes over $1 … Continue reading

Employment up in Washington, but new investments necessary to sustain economic growth

June 21, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Employment up in Washington, but new investments necessary to sustain economic growth

Families across Washington who have been struggling since the recession began have another reason to be hopeful this week, as new employment figures show that our state’s job market continues to trend upward. According to the Employment Security Department, Washington added an estimated 4,100 jobs last month, dropping our state’s unemployment rate to 6.8 percent. That’s down from April’s rate of 7 percent, well below the national average of 7.6 percent. Economists note that our unemployment rate has fallen by … Continue reading

Washington’s infrastructure

May 31, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Washington’s infrastructure

Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured in the I-5 Skagit River bridge collapse. This is a reminder of how important it is to invest in critical infrastructure. It will be a jobs-generating move for our economy. Check out this piece by John Stang of Crosscut. Economists and engineers have jumped into overdrive to deal with last Thursday’s collapse of part of Interstate 5′s Skagit River Bridge. But politically, it is difficult to say if the incident will have … Continue reading

‘Don’t play petty games with $79 million,’ Moeller urges

May 20, 2013 - Rep. Jim Moeller

The federal government isn’t kidding around at all about the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. In view of that very clear and present fact, Washington state Rep. Jim Moeller is calling on his fellow lawmakers to wake up and smell the huge cup of financial coffee at stake. “We need to take very seriously the April 19th letter from federal highway officials regarding a potential demand for repayment of financial help in building a new bridge,” Moeller said. “Don’t play … Continue reading

Washington gold-medals in pedals

May 6, 2013 - Washington House Democratsa

Washington gold-medals in pedals

Six years running, or better yet, six years biking, Washington has received tip-top marks in two key biking categories — “Legislation and Enforcement” and “Education and Encouragement.” These distinctions have paved the way for Washington’s seizing once more “Most Bicycle Friendly State” raves from the 133-year-old League of American Bicyclists. In its recent press release touting this Evergreen State recognition, the Washington State Department of Transportation pointed to the robust “partnerships among the state’s cities, counties, advocacy organizations, state agencies … Continue reading

2013 Regular Session Victories

April 29, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

2013 Regular Session Victories

Education – Early Learning through Higher Education Integrating early learning (HB 1723) – Creates a framework for developing an integrated, high quality early learning continuum for low-income children ages birth to 5. Reforming Working Connections Child Care (SB 5595) – Develops user-friendly customer service and creates a legislative task force to develop recommendations to transition the program to a high quality, integrated, early- education oriented service. State-Tribal education compacts (HB 1134) – Allows OSPI (rather than the State itself) to … Continue reading

3rd District Legislators praise transportation budget that will create jobs, improve transit

April 28, 2013 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli & Rep. Timm Ormsby

Both chambers of the Washington state legislature passed a transportation budget for the 2013-15 biennium today. The $8.4 billion budget passed on bipartisan votes of 46-1 in the Senate and 72-25 in the House. “I am pleased with the bipartisan transportation budget that was passed today,” said Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “This is a good budget for Spokane and the entire state. It will create and sustain tens of thousands of jobs and … Continue reading

The Transportation Budget

April 28, 2013 - Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon

The Transportation Budget

In a previous legislative update, I talked about many of the challenges that the Legislature faces when it comes to having and maintaining a robust transportation system that meets the needs of our state. From on-time ferries to road repairs, pedestrian safety improvements to funding for transit, transportation is a big deal in our state and one of my top priorities in Olympia. This week, we voted to pass a transportation funding package out of the House Transportation committee that … Continue reading

STATEMENT from Rep. Jim Moeller on the transportation budget

April 28, 2013 - Rep. Jim Moeller

“The transportation-budget compromise targets both a renewed emphasis on reforming the system and a renewed push for the most-needed projects that will immediately benefit Washington businesses. Yes, it’s a barebones transportation budget. But it keeps us moving forward with the CRC, and heading in the correct direction. “Maintenance and operation are tops for most legislators, for many stakeholders — and first and foremost, for every Washington citizen and family. Also highlighted is critical funding for pedestrian safety, transit agencies and … Continue reading

Fairness for 520 bridge drivers gets green light from Legislature

April 23, 2013 - Rep. Cyrus Habib

Drivers on the SR 520 bridge will get a chance to plead their cases before a judge if they feel they got unfairly penalized for not paying a toll on time – and they can have the penalty thrown out if the judge buys their argument, under a bill by Rep. Cyrus Habib that won final legislative passage today. “This bill gives us an opportunity to advance both due process and consumer protection in our tolling system,” Habib, D-Kirkland, said. … Continue reading

Revised Transportation Package Released

April 16, 2013 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

Revised Transportation Package Released

After substantive discussions with members of both parties, a revised transportation investment package incorporating input from legislative leaders and the Governor’s office was unveiled Tuesday. The proposal has an increased emphasis on reform and targets the most immediate project needs to help Washington businesses. At $8.4 billion, the revised Connecting Washington package is $1.4 billion less than the original proposal released earlier this session. Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) one of the authors of the package says that changes focus … Continue reading

Snohomish County delegation highlights North Sound transportation needs

April 5, 2013 - Rep. Luis Moscoso

Bipartisan coalition of ten Snohomish Legislators says they will vote for revenue if Snohomish projects are prioritized With difficult discussions forthcoming on what, if any, new transportation revenue may be passed by the legislature, ten members of the Snohomish County delegation have voiced their priority investments for the North Puget Sound region.  In a letter to House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) a total of 16 major safety and mobility projects are detailed that would cost $871 million.  Clibborn’s … Continue reading

House unveils no new taxes transportation budget

April 4, 2013 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

The House Transportation Committee released its proposed transportation budget for the 2013-2015 biennium on Thursday morning. The budget, introduced by Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), allocates about $8.4 billion in state, federal and miscellaneous dollars to capital projects and operating programs. These funds will use existing revenue to support ongoing transportation projects and stabilize funding for state agencies. The budget contains millions in cost-savings that both Democrats and Republicans implemented jointly. Efficiencies include the elimination of less-utilized … Continue reading

Moeller, Cleveland explain merits of CRC

March 26, 2013 - Rep. Jim Moeller

Moeller, Cleveland explain merits of CRC

Rep. Jim Moeller was joined by 49th District seatmate Sen. Annette Cleveland for a debate on the Columbia River Crossing last week with Sen. Don Benton and Rep. Paul Harris of the 17th District on KATU-TV in Portland:

Rep. Luis Moscoso on Comcast Newsmakers

March 21, 2013 - Rep. Luis Moscoso

Rep. Luis Moscoso on Comcast Newsmakers

Rep. Luis Moscoso talks about Transportation in Snohomish County and the Washington Voting Rights Act, HB 1413, in this Comcast Newsmakers interview:  

What’s needed to fully support public transportation

March 19, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

What’s needed to fully support public transportation

This is a sobering reminder that it takes more than money to expand transit service. We need people who make sure the whole system works: buses, bus drivers, bus routes, and bus stops. Check out this article in today’s Seattle Times: This fall’s scheduled launch of the RapidRide E bus line on Aurora Avenue, and the F Line from Burien to Renton, will be postponed until 2014. Metro Transit staffers do not believe they can deliver all the bus-activated traffic … Continue reading

ICYMI: Representative Farrell’s Op-Ed in The Stranger

March 14, 2013 - Rep. Jessyn Farrell

In case you missed it, this op-ed by Rep. Farrell on local transportation funding options ran in The Stranger on March 7, 2013. There’s nothing worse than waiting at the bus stop and having the bus pass you by because it’s too full. If King County Metro goes through with their planned 17 percent service cut, that’s going to happen to all of us a lot more often. Even as transit ridership increases, King County Metro is set to slash … Continue reading

House approves latest Kagi road safety bill

March 13, 2013 - Rep. Ruth Kagi

House approves latest Kagi road safety bill

A measure to help improve safety on roads and highways by requiring vehicles hauling sand, rock, gravel or dirt to cover those loads passed the state House over the weekend. Sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D – Shoreline), the bill closes a gap in state law pertaining to unsecured loads.  Road safety is one of Kagi’s top legislative priorities; she sponsored “Maria’s Law” in 2005 after a woman named Maria Federici was blinded and disfigured by a piece of furniture … Continue reading

Reykdal measures heading to the Senate

March 11, 2013 - Rep. Chris Reykdal

Reykdal measures heading to the Senate

The House of Representatives has approved a batch of bills introduced by Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater) ahead of Wednesday’s critical House of Origin cut-off. Covering a range of issues with statewide significance, the measures will now head to the Senate. On Friday, the House approved Rep. Reykdal’s innovative approach to drop-out prevention. The bill creates a pilot program partnering community based organizations, like food banks and small farms, with school districts to target at-risk youth. Under the direction of the … Continue reading

House passes Riccelli’s taxpayer transparency bill

March 5, 2013 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli

House passes Riccelli’s taxpayer transparency bill

A measure to increase transparency for taxpayers and ensure government accountability in how state dollars are spent cleared the state House today on a 96-0 unanimous vote.  It was a top priority for state Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D – Spokane), who sponsored the bill. “Millions of dollars fund capital and transportation projects in all 39 of our state’s counties,” Riccelli said.  “These projects create jobs, make our communities safer, and improve our quality of life. But the public has no … Continue reading

Rep. Tina Orwall’s e-newsletter for Feb. 28, 2013

February 28, 2013 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Rep. Tina Orwall’s e-newsletter for Feb. 28, 2013

Dear Neighbors, We celebrated Children’s Day on February 18th, a yearly tradition in the House of Representatives that usually coincides with the Presidents’ Day holiday. With many children out of school for the holiday, we invite them to join us as we recognize the special place children hold in our communities, and the hopes and dreams they symbolize for a better future.  That future depends on the work we do here in the Legislature, and Children’s Day reminds us that every decision … Continue reading

Legislative Update from Olympia

February 25, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Legislative Update from Olympia

Dear Friends and Neighbors, We appreciate all of you who have come down to Olympia. It helps me keep in touch with how things look to all of you at home as we grapple with hard choices: fully funding K-12 education; creating a transportation system that sustains a clean economy; finding dedicated state funding for affordable and accessible higher education opportunities; and restoring and protecting critical services for mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and our poorest citizens. On Presidents’ Day, many … Continue reading

Local Transportation Funding Legislation Introduced by Rep. Farrell

February 25, 2013 - Rep. Jessyn Farrell

In the wake substantial budget cuts and news that transit agencies will soon be forced to slash critical transportation services, Representative Jessyn Farrell (D-Seattle) has introduced legislation that would give local governments a way to avoid the harsh rollbacks. “With more commuters than ever choosing public transit to get to work every day, we need both state and local funding options for our transit agencies,” said Farrell. “We have to give our communities the tools they need to protect their … Continue reading

Rep. Sam Hunt’s Electronic Newsletter – February 22, 2013

February 25, 2013 - Rep. San Hunt

We began this week at the Legislature by celebrating Children’s Day, a yearly tradition in the House of Representatives that usually coincides with the Presidents’ Day holiday. With many children out of school for the holiday, we invite them to join us as we recognize the special place children hold in our communities, and the hopes and dreams they symbolize for a better future.  That future depends on the work we do here in the Legislature, and Children’s Day reminds us that … Continue reading

Rep. Wylie’s e-newsletter for February 22, 2013

February 22, 2013 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

Rep. Wylie’s e-newsletter for February 22, 2013

It’s been a busy week in the Legislature.  Today is our first cut-off, which is the last day a policy bill can be considered in committee in its house of origin.  Fiscal bills get an extra week beyond that – the fiscal bill deadline is next Friday, March 1st.   The session follows a cut-off calendar, which determines the deadlines for public hearings and executive action on bills, as well as floor action in both the House and Senate. Watch my … Continue reading

Rep. Luis Moscoso’s Legislative Update – Feb 22, 2013

February 22, 2013 - Rep. Luis Moscoso

Rep. Luis Moscoso’s Legislative Update – Feb 22, 2013

Dear Neighbors, The last two weeks have been busy here in the legislature, but these weeks were not without moments of reflection and remembrance.  On February 13, members of the House and Senate held a Joint Session to honor former legislators who have passed away in the last two years. I took the opportunity to remember former Representative Jeanne Edwards, who I knew and worked with when she was in the House. You can read about her in this June … Continue reading

Speaker Chopp on workers’ comp, education reform, and transportation

February 22, 2013 - Speaker Frank Chopp

Speaker Chopp on workers’ comp, education reform, and transportation

In this week’s report, Speaker of the House Frank Chopp discusses House Democratic priorities, workers’ comp, education reform, and “Connecting Washington,” the ambitious 10-year plan to improve transportation safety, freight mobility, and Washington’s quality of life. Click here to listen to this week’s House Majority Report.

Neighborhood Safe Streets passes House

February 20, 2013 - bergstromg

Neighborhood Safe Streets passes House

The Seattle Bike Blog does a great job explaining the Neighborhood Safe Streets bill (House Bill 1045), which passed the House on a vote of 86-10. Right now, cities and counties must pay for an engineering report to raise – or lower – speed limits. It makes sense for raising the limit, to ensure a road can handle higher speeds. But it’s a waste of time and money for state law to require engineering reports to lower a speed limit. … Continue reading

Rep. Clibborn, Supporters Unveil Transportation Package

February 20, 2013 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

Transportation Committee Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) and members of the committee rolled out the details of the Connecting Washington transportation package, which would fund nearly $10 billion in transportation projects across the state. “The Connecting Washington package will link the communities of our state to each other and to the rest of the world,” said Clibborn. “From the child going to school each day to the farmer whose crops travel through our ports to markets abroad, this package is … Continue reading

Big variety of stakeholders supports transportation-funding package

February 14, 2013 - Rep. Jim Moeller

Signed by more than 70 stakeholders (representing a broad coalition of leaders from business, labor, environmental groups, and local governments who support moving forward with a statewide transportation-funding package in 2013), a letter was recently sent to transportation leaders in the Legislature. Here is a link to the coalition’s letter

Letter from 49th LD legislators to Gov. Jay Inslee on the Columbia River Crossing issue

February 8, 2013 - nietol

Letter from 49th LD legislators to Gov. Jay Inslee on the Columbia River Crossing issue

Olympia, WA., Friday, February 8, 2013 Governor Jay Inslee, Thank you for meeting with us to discuss the next steps for the state on the Columbia River Crossing. The purpose of this letter is to lay out some ideas and thoughts as we begin to work together for the benefit of the citizens of southwest Washington. First, this is a tremendously complex project, and the largest we are likely to see in our lifetime. We agree that continued questioning of … Continue reading

Cracking down on fraud

February 8, 2013 - Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos

Cracking down on fraud

The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) is responsible for administering a federal program designed to level the playing field for disadvantaged businesses. Unfortunately, some companies are abusing the program. Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos is looking to end that abuse and punish cheaters who rig the system for their own advantage. She introduced HB 1674 which would create a fraud unit within the office and impose penalties on those who cheat the system. From KING 5: State Rep. … Continue reading

Riccelli wants taxpayers to know where their money goes

February 7, 2013 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli

Riccelli wants taxpayers to know where their money goes

Each year, millions of dollars flow from state coffers to fund capital and transportation projects in every single county.  These projects create jobs while improving the infrastructure of Washington’s communities.  But these public investments aren’t always easily visible to the public, and one legislator is seeking to change that. Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D – Spokane), has introduced legislation to increase transparency for taxpayers and ensure government accountability in how state dollars are spent.  His bill, HB 1733, would increase the … Continue reading

Let’s get to work

February 4, 2013 - mcvicara

Let’s get to work

Friends and neighbors, Today begins the fourth week in Olympia as your legislator from the 36th District! First there was the swearing-in ceremony on January 14th. Then we went right to work in our committees. I’m serving on Higher Education, Rules, Transportation, and Technology and Economic Development. Last week I took my first votes to move bills out of committees. The schedule is demanding… and it needs to be. We’re trying to fulfill our constitutional duty to amply provide for … Continue reading

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon’s Legislative Update: Week Three

February 4, 2013 - mcvicara

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon’s Legislative Update: Week Three

Visiting Olympia During the legislative session, many advocacy groups and individuals travel down to Olympia to briefly meet with legislators and express their opinions on bills and other issues before the legislature. Last week I had the privilege of meeting with constituents from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  As you can see from the photo below, the group was so large that we moved the meeting to the hallway. It is always a pleasure to hear from the people who … Continue reading

Rep. Riccelli talks jobs on TVW’s “Inside Olympia”

February 1, 2013 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli

Rep. Marcus Riccelli, the freshman representative from the 3rd Legislative District, was featured this week on TVW’s show “Inside Olympia.”  In the following two-minute clip, he talks about one of his top priorities for the 2013 session, which is job creation in the Spokane area. You can view the entire half-hour segment here.

ICYMI: Rep. Tarleton featured in the Ballard News Tribune

January 29, 2013 - mcvicara

ICYMI: Rep. Tarleton featured in the Ballard News Tribune

The Ballard News Tribune recently spoke with the newest lawmaker from the 36th Legislative District – Rep. Gael Tarleton. In the interview, Rep. Tarleton discusses her goals of making college more affordable for students, the need for a new transportation package, and moving our state away from fossil fuels. Here’s a brief snippet of the conversation. Incoming Freshman Rep. Gael Tarleton’s first official week in the 2013 legislative session was intense, but nothing new. After all, she’s had plenty of … Continue reading

Rep. Roger Freeman sworn into office

January 15, 2013 - mcvicara

Rep. Roger Freeman sworn into office

On January 14th, Representative Roger Freeman took the oath of office and was officially sworn in to serve the citizens of the 30th legislative district in the Washington State Legislature. “I am excited to represent the people of the 30th Legislative District and be their advocate in Olympia. I am grateful to have so many people supporting me on this journey,” said Freeman. During their reorganization in late 2012, the House Democratic Caucus selected Freeman to serve as the Vice … Continue reading

Rep. Moscoso to vice-chair Transportation Committee

December 18, 2012 - nietol

Rep. Moscoso to vice-chair Transportation Committee

From the look of his committee assignments, Rep. Luis Moscoso’s second term in the House of Representatives will be very busy, but he’s no longer the new kid on the block. The Mountlake Terrace Democrat is no stranger to transportation issues; his stellar work in that committee the past two years was decisive in his reappointment, but as one of three vice chairs this time around. “I am honored to assist in vice chair responsibilities.  My background in transit gives … Continue reading

Ryu elected vice chair of Business and Financial Services

December 14, 2012 - nietol

Ryu elected vice chair of Business and Financial Services

Rep. Cindy Ryu returns to the House of Representative to serve her second term, but this time with more responsibilities on her plate. Earlier this week, Ryu’s peers elected her as vice chair of the Business and Financial Services Committee, which considers licensing and regulation of businesses and professions, issues relating to insurance, banks and credit unions, as well as consumer protection issues relating to motor vehicles, financial services, and insurance. “I am excited to assist Chair Kirby in considering … Continue reading

Fitzgibbon reappointed to vice-chair role, elected to caucus leadership post

December 12, 2012 - mcvicara

Fitzgibbon reappointed to vice-chair role, elected to caucus leadership post

Earlier this week, the House Democratic Caucus announced its committee structure for the upcoming session. State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) will continue to serve as vice-chair of the House Local Government Committee. The Local Government Committee considers issues relating to operations and financing of counties, cities, and certain special districts. The committee also considers matters relating to the State Environmental Policy Act, Growth Management Act, and land use issues. “Making sure we keep our strong environmental protections in place will … Continue reading

Car sharing saves money and time — while creating jobs

June 25, 2012 - bergstromg

by Zack Hudgins and Barbara Bailey Most cars sit idle 23 hours a day. But there’s a new business model that lets people rent cars and trucks from private citizens. Peer-to-peer car sharing is one of those solid policies that Democrats and Republicans alike can agree on.  This innovative way of bringing new business into our state will reduce pressure on our transportation system and put more money back into your own pocket. Many neighbors and family members borrow things … Continue reading

Liias cheers community leaders’ push for local transit funding bill

March 20, 2012 - Rep. Marko Liias

Legislation to provide tools for cities and counties to invest in transit needs received a boost today from a coalition of community leaders.  The group’s letter, organized by Transportation for Washington, explains why passing the local transportation revenue options legislation, Senate Bill 6582, is important for transit in their communities. Rep. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, hopes their message is received in time to pass legislation this special session.  The governor’s special session proclamation included local transportation revenue options in the list … Continue reading

Judy talks transportation on the Tina and Drew Show

July 28, 2011 - boyesr

OLYMPIA—State Rep. Judy Clibborn fielded questions on the future of transportation in Washington during a lively recent discussion on the Tina and Drew Show. What is in store for the SR-520 bridge? What does the future hold for tolling and transportation in Washington? Tina Mitchell and Drew Ebner asked these and other questions that are on many citizens’ minds during their show on AM 1090 Seattle. Rep. Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) shares her insights as the Chair of the House Transportation … Continue reading

Hood Canal Bridge pilot project could ease traffic congestion on SR 3 and SR 104

May 9, 2011 - waldrefj

State Rep. Christine Rolfes, Sen. Phil Rockefeller say pilot should improve traffic predictability OLYMPIA — Following nearly a year’s worth of discussions, the U.S. Coast Guard has announced a summer pilot project restricting the Hood Canal Bridge from opening from 3–6 p.m. every day. The measure is designed to improve road travel predictability in the region, as unannounced drawbridge openings have produced major delays and long vehicle queues that obstruct road access. U.S. Navy vessels are exempt. Residents along SR … Continue reading

Transportation funding bill targets basic but urgent needs

April 7, 2011 - waldrefj

OLYMPIA – House transportation leaders this week rolled out a plan to fund basic but overdue improvements for road maintenance and preservation, the State Patrol, ferries and transit. The plan is paid for by updating several transportation fees, many of which haven’t changed in years. Realigning the fees will better reflect their actual administrative costs and would fund about $129 million worth of projects per biennium. “We’ve made huge progress on transportation over the last several years. Nearly 300 projects … Continue reading

Transportation budget clears House

March 25, 2011 - waldrefj

Commitment kept to key projects, thousands of jobs OLYMPIA – House lawmakers today approved an $8.9 billion transportation budget that would keep projects moving forward and generate more than 43,000 jobs. The bill moved forward on a strong, bipartisan vote of 89-6. The two-year proposal, House Bill 1175, takes a multi-modal approach to planning for future needs with investments in highways, ferries, commercial and passenger rail, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. “This is a responsible budget to keep projects … Continue reading

Takko, Blake note $53.2 million in SW Washington transportation projects

March 22, 2011 - nietol

Highway maintenance, efficiency emphasized in 2011-2013 budget plan OLYMPIA – Two Southwest Washington lawmakers today called the House Democratic transportation budget proposal a dramatic and important leap forward in: Keeping Washington’s communities connected. Strengthening Washington’s infrastructure. And creating family-wage jobs for Washington’s citizens. State Reps. Dean Takko and Brian Blake emphasized that the $53.2 million package of maintenance, preservation and other highway-improvement projects is much needed and very timely. “This budget is great economic news for our region,” said Takko, … Continue reading

Improved accountability, management slated for ferry system

March 21, 2011 - paribelloj

OLYMPIA – The key House negotiators on the state’s Transportation budget unveiled their proposal today, a budget that outlines higher accountability and streamlined management in the Washington state ferry system (WSF). The House proposal adamantly supports the need for the three 64-car ferries currently under construction, as well as setting aside $65 million – half the funding needed – immediately for a 144-car vessel beginning in the second year of the biennium. “Above all else, we need greater accountability and … Continue reading

House transportation plan connects state, generates jobs

March 21, 2011 - waldrefj

Clibborn, Armstrong unveil $8.9 billion two-year budget; 43,000 jobs expected   OLYMPIA – Transportation leaders in the House of Representatives today unveiled a two-year plan to better connect Washington, generate jobs and promote commerce. The $8.9 billion transportation budget proposal for the 2011-13 biennium takes a multi-modal approach to planning for future needs with investments in highways, ferries, commercial and passenger rail, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. More than 43,000 jobs are expected to be created or sustained through … Continue reading

House votes to proceed on 520 bridge, 405 HOT lanes

March 5, 2011 - waldrefj

OLYMPIA – Two bills aimed at improving mobility in east King County were approved by the House of Representatives this afternoon. Lawmakers cleared a measure that establishes tolls on the SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington and another measure that authorizes express toll lanes on I-405 from Bellevue to I-5 at Lynnwood. The toll revenues will support the corridors’ respective improvements. “Our infrastructure is outdated,” said Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee. “These two corridors … Continue reading

Washington White Board – How the state budget process works

March 2, 2011 - mcvicara

Ferry reforms would cut waste, bring parity and efficiencies

January 24, 2011 - waldrefj

OLYMPIA – The state ferry system would eliminate wasteful practices, adopt operating efficiencies and bring ferry employees’ compensation in line with other state employees under a package of reforms introduced today by key Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. “It’s no secret that the ferry system isn’t run as efficiently as it should be and needs to be,” said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, who as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee has sought to reform the … Continue reading

Rep. Jinkins starts legislative session in key health care, transportation roles

January 14, 2011 - waldrefj

After being sworn-in on Monday, the 27th District’s newest legislator wraps up session’s busy first week OLYMPIA – As the 2011 Legislative Session opened this week, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, continued her long career as a health care leader, earning a key leadership position as vice-chair of the Health Care & Wellness Committee, in addition to serving as a member of the Capital Budget, Transportation, and Environment Committees in the House of Representatives. With these committee assignments, her own policy … Continue reading

Seat Belts in School Buses

December 13, 2008 - Rep. Ross Hunter

I reacted the same way many of you did when I heard from my son about the Bellevue High School football team bus rolling over – I was horrified. We followed the news all afternoon via phone from the Tacoma dome where he was waiting to photograph the game. (Check out his pictures at www.jackhunterphoto.com. I don’t do many commercial plugs in my newsletters or blogs, but hey, it’s my kid!) The players all had their pads on and thankfully … Continue reading