The LWVWA positions on transportation are found on pages 20-22 of Program in Action. In brief, the position is “The League supports a balanced state transportation policy that defines the role of the state and supports increases in funding to provide adequate revenue, flexibility, energy efficiency and safety in a multi-modal system of transportation.”
Transportation planning, funding and system implementation are complex, multi-year, sometimes multi-decade, processes. Hence transportation is budgeted separately from other funds and includes both operating and capital funding. It is also planned for long periods, such as 15-16 years.
The most recent long-term transportation funding package was approved several years ago and did not include adequate funding for the Columbia River I-5 Bridge Replacement Project or several other key needs. So that will be a focal area of interest in the 2022 legislative session. Additionally, the legislature should direct federal transportation funding opportunities in this session.
Debate in 2021 included differences in opinion about what goals should be prioritized, how carbon emissions should be addressed and how to replace the diminishing gas tax revenue needed. Current funding forecasts do not provide adequately for ferry system needs, transit service needs or passenger rail needs. These issues will all be considered again in 2022.
New legislation prefiled for 2022 includes transfer of General Fund money to cover the cost of certain transportation projects. The League cannot support this because the General Fund has unmet needs, even though it has been forecast to have a surplus in the coming biennium.
Transportation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so the League’s greatest emphasis this year will be on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with multi-modal funding, particularly with transit, because of its demonstrated significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions if used widely - and because of the social and economic equity needs transit would address.
League priority bills are in bold below.
|House Bills||House||Senate||After Passage|
|Bill #||Bill Name (Brief Title)||League Position||Take Action||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||Passed Legislature||On Governor's Desk||Signed|
|HB 1039||Requires updating of the statewide bicycle and pedestrian safety curriculum for middle schoolers and mandates certain health and safety reporting||Supports||X
|HB 1075||Reducing emissions from vehicles associated with on-demand transportation services||Supports||X
|HB 1204||Concerning the electrification of transportation and development of a strategy to require only electric vehicle sales by 2030 including addressing the equity impacts of that change||Supports||X
|HB 1503||Establishing an alternative fuel vehicle retail sales and use tax exemption for lower-income individuals. This bill would allow an exemption to the vehicle sales tax for EVs for low-income purchasers||Supports||X
|HB 1577||Establishing a carbon tax on fossil fuels used for transportation||Supports||X
|HB 1602/ SB 5488||Relating to completing outstanding financial obligations regarding the Tacoma Narrows toll bridge project, transferring General Fund money to pay the bonds.||Opposes||X
|HB 1603||Shifting certain transportation funding obligations to the General Fund||Opposes||X
|BUDGET||Funding to expand transit service||Supports||X
|BUDGET||Funding to develop a statewide public transportation plan||Supports||X
These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass.
HB 1039 Reporting on, updating, and expanding deployment of existing government programs that provide education on bicycle and pedestrian travel including the Safe Routes to Schools program.
HB 1075 Reducing emissions from vehicles associated with on-demand transportation services, requiring commercial transportation service providers to report on vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions and to develop plans by 2024 to meet Ecology GHG emission reduction goals by. Also requires Ecology to report to the Legislature on how to reduce GHG emissions by entities delivering food and other consumer goods.
HB 1204 Concerning the electrification of transportation. This bill would require the Washington State Transportation Commission to develop a scoping plan by Sep. 1, 2023, to analyze the need and capacity to support electric vehicles and recommend a strategy to address equity impacts of the current requirement that all vehicle models in 2030 or later be electric and propose regulations as appropriate.
HB 1503 Establishing an alternative fuel vehicle retail sales and use tax exemption for individuals qualifying for the federal earned income tax credit.
HB 1577 Establishing a carbon tax on fossil fuels used for transportation at the rate of $25.00 per metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions, adjusted annually for inflation, with certain exemptions and allowing climate bonds to be issued with these funds. Requires DOE to determine and report whether the sources of emissions covered by this tax will achieve the goals set in RCW 70A.45.020.
HB 1603 Shifting certain transportation funding obligations to the General Fund.
SB 5232 Relating to limiting bonding toll revenues on certain state highway facilities (I-405 and SR 167). This would limit use of toll revenues for bonding if the toll revenue is not up to a certain standard.
SB 5444 Implementing a per mile charge on electric and hybrid vehicles. The per-mile charge would compensate for the lack of gas tax revenue which is currently the primary source of highway preservation and maintenance funding.
SB 5510 Relating to renewal of the sales and use tax for transportation benefit districts (TBD) authorizes extension of TBD sales taxes for an additional ten-year period if approved by the voters.
SB 5528 Relating to the imposition of additive revenue sources within a regional transit authority area would allow establishment of enhanced service zones for which new voter-approved taxes may be established and used.