A Statement From Our Executive Director:
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled today that Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 is unconstitutional, calling it “deceptive and misleading”. Today is a great day and an important, hard-won victory as we stand up for transportation choices across Washington, especially public transit.
This ruling allows local communities to retain a critical funding tool for improving transportation, whether that’s increasing transit service, preserving bridges, paving roads, or supporting other critical infrastructure investments. It means rural communities can continue providing lifeline transportation to low-income seniors, that our bridges can be maintained, that the roads we travel on are decent, and that the hundreds of thousands of people who count on transit in Washington every day can get where they need to go.
TCC is working to fully understand the implications of this ruling and how it affects governments and agencies from the local level to the State. Many jurisdictions shifted funds from other sources to prevent major cuts to transportation, and will need to re-examine budgets in light of this news and the economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic. What we know for certain is that regaining this funding tool will help communities across Washington maintain transportation investments central to a safe, adequate, and fair transportation system that people count on every day.
This year underscored the need for a transportation system that is resilient, and funding that is stable. We fight on in our work to reform our broken tax system and find sustainable, progressive means to fund transportation through our Clean and Just Coalition. Less than 3% of transportation dollars support multimodal transportation, and transportation plans in every community lack the State and local funding to meet their basic needs and provide the excellent transportation system we all deserve. We can -and must- do better.
The ruling today is a win for our environment, our economy, and our communities. Thanks to all of our partners – labor, climate, and business leaders – that came together to work on the No on I-976 campaign, and to see justice in the courts. Together, we persevere in our quest to ensure that mobility options and access to opportunities live up to society’s promises and obligations to people across Washington, and that all people are able to live a healthy, vibrant life.