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Tag: Judy Clibborn


House tries again, this time approves transportation funding

Two Democrats from rural districts reversed their votes today on a 10-1/2-cents-a-gallon increase in the gas tax to pay for road projects — giving supporters enough votes to pass it through the state House.

The vote came just a day after the exact same measure failed by one vote. But after Rep. Brian Blake of Aberdeen and Rep. Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim joined supporters, the bill passed by a 51-to-41 margin.

“It was kind of depressing yesterday, I have to admit,” said the plan’s author, Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who insisted she did not promise anything to get the votes. ”It was just

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Tax package includes $1.27 billion for 167, 509 & I-5 HOT lanes; assumes new Pierce Transit taxing authority

Updated 2:30 p.m. with more on projects. Updated with timeline for gas tax increases.

House Democrats today called for raising the gas tax by 5 cents this year and then gradually by another 5 cents over at least three years and raising a series of fees to pay for roads, ferries and other spending.

The biggest beneficiary would be the so-called Puget Sound Gateway, at $1.27 billion, the amount sought most recently by backers. The project combines an extension of state Route 167 between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma with an extension of a similarly unfinished stretch of state

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House transportation budget calls for next step in study of VMT miles-driven tax

In January, a study done with $775,000 in funding from the Legislature concluded that charging drivers by the mile would be feasible in Washington. House Democrats today called for spending another $400,000 on the next phase of study.

House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn’s budget would have the Transportation Commission develop the “business case” for “a road usage charge” to replace the gas tax.

That would likely include evaluation of the cost to operate and enforce a road usage charge, or vehicle-miles-traveled tax, as it’s better known.

Clibborn today released her plan for spending $8.4 billion in existing tax revenue, which

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Two lanes is two too few for 167 backers

House Democrats’ transportation package released Wednesday contains $1 billion for building links to I-5 for both Route 167 in Pierce County and Route 509 in South King County.

Lawmakers say that would be the state contribution to a $1.8 billion total project that might also tap toll payers, the federal government or other sources. Here’s the official description of what that would buy:

(On 167:) Constructs a new alignment between SR 509 in Tacoma and SR 512 in Puyallup, including one lane in each direction between I-5 and SR 512. (On 509:) Connects SR 509 south from SeaTac to I-5, including

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South Sound would get $1.2 billion for megaprojects under House Democrats’ transportation plan

(UPDATED at 4:40 p.m. with comment from Rep. Fey and fuller description of the JBLM proposal.)

House Democrats pitched a nearly $10 billion transportation tax increase today whose single biggest outlay would go to a project that includes resuming the construction of State Route 167 to I-5 and beyond to the Port of Tacoma from where it stopped decades ago in Puyallup.

The 167 extension and a plan to connect Route 509 to I-5 near SeaTac Airport are being conceived of as a single megaproject, which  Democrats dub the “Puget Sound Gateway.”

Democrats say it can be done for $1.8

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Gregoire’s task force calls for $21 billion for transportation

A task force convened by Gov. Chris Gregoire has recommended the state raise an additional $21 billion over 10 years to spend on roads, bridges, buses, ferries and other transportation needs.

State voters would likely have the final say on most of the taxes and fees that would pay for the package. A bipartisan cast of lawmakers will start working on the specifics next month with an eye to putting the question to voters on the November ballot.

House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn and other members of the task force acknowledge the difficulty of persuading the public, especially if lawmakers also ask voters to raise the sales tax in April or May to stave off education, health care and public-safety cuts.

“There’s never an exact right time to do any of this,” said Clibborn, D-Mercer Island.

Read the full story.

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Lawmakers agree to extra time on Route 167 HOT lanes project

Lawmakers have agreed to continue operating toll lanes on Route 167 through June 2013.

The yearlong extension of the high occupancy toll lanes pilot project is included in a transportation budget deal that could receive a Senate floor vote Wednesday.

Since May 2008, commuters on the stretch of Route 167 between Auburn and Renton  have been able to pay to use car-pool lanes and reach their destination faster.

Traffic is moving faster in all lanes of the highway since the charges began, the Department of Transportation says. But the project continues to lose money, even as the lanes

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Plan would continue Route 167 HOT lanes experiment

Buried in the House transportation budget is permission for an extra year of the pilot project that allows lone drivers to buy their way into car pool lanes between Auburn and Renton.

House Transportation Committee chairwoman Judy Clibborn wants to extend the state Route 167 experiment until June 2013 because she is trying to put the same pay-to-use lanes — known as high occupancy toll or HOT lanes — on Interstate 405 from Lynnwood to Bellevue. Eventually, she foresees connecting the two stretches of lanes, and she doesn’t want the Route 167 project to lapse before that can happen.

“I want them from Lynnwood to Puyallup,” said Clibborn, D-Mercer Island.

A large expansion of the lanes would ease traffic congestion and help raise money for improvements to I-405 and the extension of Route 167 to the Port of Tacoma, she and other supporters say.

The HOT lanes continue to lose money nearly three years after the four-year pilot project began. But WSDOT says they are about to start breaking even, because with the start of tolling on the Route 520 bridge, the costs of state tolling are spread among more toll projects.

“Now they don’t cost us anything,” Clibborn said.

Rep. Mark Hargrove of Covington, a freshman Republican who helped write the transportation budget,  says the HOT lanes were a bad idea from the beginning. But if the state is no longer losing money on them, he said, it doesn’t hurt to wait an extra year to shut down the project. Read more »