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Dispatch from Olympia: A Win for Fair Representation!

Posted by abigail@transportationchoices.org at Mar 02, 2018 02:00 PM |
Legislative session is wrapping up! Today is the last day to consider opposite house bills and session ends next week. Here’s what’s happening in Olympia:

Legislative session is wrapping up! Today is the last day to consider opposite house bills and session ends next week. Here’s what’s happening in Olympia:

A win for fair representation!

Yesterday, a bill requiring proportional representation by population on transit agency boards (SB 6414) passed the House and is now on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law.

This bill is a huge win for fair representation. It ensures that transit boards reflect the population they serve and that every voter has a voice in how decision are made on these boards.

Nuts and bolts: SB 6414 would require members of the governing boards of Pierce Transit, Spokane Transit, and Clark County’s C-Tran to be selected to assure proportional representation of the cities and unincorporated sections of counties that are located within the transit area boundary. The transit agency boards would reflect urban, suburban, and rural service area types based on population. It would be prohibited for any city to have a majority on the board, even if the city holds the majority of the transit area population.

As of now, the governing bodies contain greater representation of board members from rural areas, leaving the denser areas underrepresented. The majority of public transit revenue is generated from, and the overwhelming service is provided in the more populated areas these agencies serve. With proportional representation, low income people and people of color will have fairer representation on transit boards and ensure that transit is serving the people who need it the most.

Fingers crossed for Intercity Transit.

We are also watching and working hard to see that the Intercity Transit bill (SB 5288) will be considered before the 5:00 pm cutoff today. SB 5288 allows Intercity Transit in Olympia to go to the ballot to increase their taxing authority. We will update this post later today.

Update: The Intercity Transit bill passed the House and is now on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law.

You can see our legislative agenda here, take action here, and follow us on Facebook and twitter to keep up to date on all that is going on in Olympia.
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