Inside Opinion

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Tag: state parks


Naming rights could alleviate, not solve funding shortages

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Would you support renaming the Tacoma Narrows Bridge if it kept tolls from rising higher than they otherwise would?

What if it were renamed the Taco Bell Narrows Bridge and only kept the toll from increasing, say, by 25 cents?

It’s that kind of question that lawmakers must consider with House Bill 1050 and 1051, which would allow naming rights for public facilities and transportation infrastructure, respectively. Both are prime-sponsored by state Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard; HB 1051 is co-sponsored by freshman Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way. Read more »


Get creative to make Discover Pass palatable

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

State lawmakers hoping to pay for state parks with user fees – $10 day passes and a $30 annual Discover Passes – best go back to the drawing board. So far that plan isn’t raising enough money; the result is a major threat to the future of the state parks system.

The parking passes, which went on sale July 1, must raise an average of almost $2.7 million per month to pay for the parks and other state lands, about $64 million over two years.

That’s not happening. The sales are actually raising less than an average of $2.2 million per month. At that pace, only about $53 million will be raised over the next two years – a deficit of about $11 million.

Making up that difference from the general fund probably isn’t an option. Later this month, lawmakers will try to plug a budget hole of more than $2 billion.

And prospects aren’t great that the state revenue picture will improve significantly within the next year or two.
Read more »