Lawmakers in the state of Washington are still up in the air about a new transportation funding package, but a Senate panel attempted to test the public barometer Nov. 21.
More than 100 people packed the forum, which brought up the possibility of raising the gas tax 11.5 cents per gallon in order to pay for needed road and bridge repairs.
Earlier in the year, the Washington state House approved a measure that would have increased the gas tax just over a dime, but it never made it past the Senate, which wanted to see more policy reform.
“[This latest proposal] is based upon the idea that we can no longer ignore maintenance and preservation and that we need to complete what we’ve started,” said Senate Committee Co-Chair Sen. Curtis King.
Special legislative meetings have been held over the past couple of months, but nothing has been resolved in the area of transportation funding. Currently there are no bills circulating the floor in either the House or the Senate.
The Senate wants to see a plan that does not toll I-90, pays for the S.R. 520 floating bridge and funds a variety of different transportation projects. It seeks to redirect sales tax money from transportation projects to a transportation fund rather than the state’s general fund, and transfers money out of an environmental cleanup account.