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Dispatch: Second Special Session Update
Last Tuesday, the Washington State Legislature began its second 30-day special session.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the first 30-day special session concluded without addressing two outstanding legislative items: agreeing to capital and operating budgets. The transportation budget passed just before the regular session ended, and, with your help, we secured nearly all the budget priorities we set forth at the beginning of the year.
As legislators are focused on finalizing capital and operating budgets, we don’t expect much action on transportation-related bills during the second special session. However, during this period all previously introduced bills are technically alive again. For this reason, we continue to closely monitor the legislature’s actions and will provide you with relevant updates.
Last Thursday, the House voted on HB 2201. TCC opposes the legislation as currently drafted. The bill essentially aligns taxes to reflect a more recent car valuation schedule by providing car owners a reimbursement for the difference between the 2006 MVET and older 1999 MVET car valuations, which Sound Transit currently uses. We appreciate efforts to address taxpayer fairness and we encourage the legislature to find reasonable solutions that do not impact voter-approved projects. However, we cannot support this bill in its current form. Our reasons for not supporting the bill and suggestions for improving it are available in this statement.
We anticipate that the Republican-led Senate will take up two anti-Sound Transit bills this special session: SB 5001 and SB 5893. As we reported a few weeks ago, the Senate passed these bills during the first special session. The timing of a vote in the current special session is unknown, but we will continue to monitor the Senate and work with legislators to oppose these bills.
We continue to keep a close watch on the baseless allegations that Sound Transit deliberately misled voters on Sound Transit 3. Senator Mike Padden, chairman of the Law and Justice Committee, will hold a work session to investigate the false claims. We don’t expect the work session to be scheduled during the second special session.