Environment
Transportation

Washington State has for many years focused primarily on highway development (including the ferry system). The state’s transportation budget is typically based on a multi-year plan and is not adjusted biennially in the same way the operating budget is. In 2022, the Legislature shifted priorities in its transportation package, significantly increasing funding for transit and focusing on preservation and maintenance of roads, rather than new development. However, many issues remain related to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support increased density necessary for affordable housing. Additionally, rail system and transportation safety needs have not been adequately examined.


Issue Team Chair: Cynthia Stewart, cstewart@lwvwa.org 
DOWNLOAD the Transportation Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 


Bill Tracking

Weekly Reports


Bill Descriptions


Get Involved

Overview

2023 will not be a year in which a major transportation funding package will be adopted. However, there will be proposals to adjust the budget and to add safety projects and rail planning. The League will also be promoting additional support for transit.

Bill Tracking

League priority bills are in bold below.

Senate Bills Senate House 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
SB 5012 Requiring the joint transportation committee to conduct a study of a third bridge over the Columbia River between southwest Washington and Oregon. Watch










SB 5017 Dedicating the sales tax on motor vehicles to highway uses. Oppose










SB 5018 Concerning sales tax revenues of transportation projects being used for transportation purposes. Oppose










SB 5023 Concerning roadside safety measures. Support

x








SB 5068 Dedicating the state sales tax on motor vehicles for transportation Watch










SB 5195 Addressing fuel price transparency Support
x








SB 5272 Relating to speed safety camera systems on state highways Support
x








SB 5314 Relating to electric-assisted bicycle use on certain trails and roads.
Support
x








SB 5317 Concerning the removal of vehicles by a regional transit authority when obstructing the operation of high-capacity transportation vehicles or jeopardizing public safety Support
x








SB 5471 Relating to the use of electric-assisted bicycles on certain trails and roads by persons with disabilities Support

x








SJR 8200 Amending the state Constitution so that state revenue collected from a road usage charge, vehicle miles traveled fee, or other similar type of comparable charge, must be  used exclusively for highway purposes. Oppose










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 1040 Establishing an aviation and aerospace advisory committee. Watch

x








HB 1084 Concerning freight mobility prioritization. Support

x








HB 1485 Companion bill to SB 5023, above. Support











Weekly Reports

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. 


Bill Descriptions

SB 5012 Requiring the joint transportation committee to conduct a study of a third bridge over the Columbia River between southwest Washington and Oregon. There are currently bridges at Vancouver/Portland (I-5), I-205 Portland bypass bridge at Vancouver (Salmon Creek) WA/Tualatin OR, and Longview WA to Rainier OR. The replacement of I-5 bridge has long been deemed necessary for safety and commerce but was stopped in approximately 2013 for various reasons. This bill would require a study of another bridge in the vicinity of I-5.

SB 5017 Dedicating the sales tax on motor vehicles to highway uses. The League opposes any additional restrictions on funds dedicated to transportation because funding is needed for highway alternatives, such as rail or transit; and the sales tax that currently supports the operating budget should not be diverted to highways.

SB 5018 Concerning sales tax revenues of transportation projects being used for transportation purposes. This bill would transfer sales tax to the motor vehicle fund from the general fund.  As for SB 5017, the League opposes any additional restrictions on funds dedicated to transportation because funding is needed for highway alternatives, such as rail or transit; and the sales tax that currently supports the operating budget should not be diverted to highways.

SB 5023 Concerning roadside safety measures. This bill sets forth requirements for safety measures by tow trucks at accidents on highways.

SB 5068 Dedicating the state sales tax on motor vehicles for transportation. Sales taxes are now applied to the General Fund.  This bill would establish a schedule by which sales tax paid on motor vehicles would be transferred to transportation preservation and maintenance uses instead.

SB 5195 Addressing fuel price transparency, would require that fuel prices be rounded up to the nearest cent.

SB 5272 Relating to speed safety camera systems on state highways, would require enforcement of speeding caught on cameras.

SB 5314 Relating to electric-assisted bicycle use on certain trails and roads, would allow electric-assisted bicycles on any routes open to non-motorized bicycles where the surface is suitable, subject to enforcement of all other rules, such as speed limits. Electric-assisted bicycles are those with a motor that helps the pedals turn when riding, but no throttle like a motorcycle or dirt bike would have.

SB 5317 Concerning the removal of vehicles by a regional transit authority when obstructing the operation of high-capacity transportation vehicles or jeopardizing public safety.

SB 5471 Relating to the use of electric-assisted bicycles on certain trails and roads by persons with disabilities, would allow any person with a current disabled parking placard to use electric-assisted bicycles on all nonmotorized natural surface trails and closed roads where bicycles are allowed.

SJR 8200 Amending the state Constitution so that state revenue collected from a road usage charge, vehicle miles traveled fee, or other similar type of comparable charge, must be used exclusively for highway purposes. The League opposes this because it does not support multi-modal transportation which is needed to address climate change and congestion relief.

HB 1040 Establishing an aviation and aerospace advisory committee, would create a committee to advise the director and the secretary of the department of transportation on matters related to aviation and aerospace in Washington state, including but not limited to developing recommendations regarding capital budget requests related to aviation and aerospace needs and developing strategies to enhance the safe and effective use of public use airports and aerospace  facilities in Washington state.

HB 1084 Concerning freight mobility prioritization, would establish a board to advise on freight mobility needs while addressing transition to zero emissions technology and historically over-burdened communities.

How To Be Involved

To be involved in support of revenue equity, you can:

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