Image of the WA State capitol building, with TCC logo and text: Dispatch from Olympia / Your guide to the WA State Legislative Session

Dear friends,

It’s the last week of the Legislative Session, which means that all budgets need to be finalized and voted on by the end of Thursday, March 7. House and Senate transportation leaders have been working to iron out the differences between their versions of the supplemental transportation budget, and we’re excited to see where they land!

Both versions allocated at least an additional $325 million from the Climate Commitment Act to meet our state’s critical transportation needs, but those funds won’t be available until January 1, 2025. That’s because a third of our state’s transportation budget depends on voters saying NO to Initiative 2117 (which would repeal the Climate Commitment Act) in November. Stay tuned for more ways to support the No on I-2117 Campaign.

Last Friday was the opposite chamber cutoff for bills that aren’t budget-related, meaning that if a bill didn’t get voted out of the opposite chamber from the one it originated in, it’s almost certainly dead this year. We were glad to see SB 6283 to extend the Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program pass the House – now on to Governor Inslee! We’re also watching HB 2384, which authorizes more use of automated traffic safety cameras. Versions of this bill passed both chambers but still require conferencing to resolve outstanding differences. Many bills didn’t make it past this last cutoff, including HB 2160 to support transit-oriented development.

In this short Legislative Session, not many bills have survived the process. There’s been a general hesitancy to move legislation due to the threat of the ballot initiatives, including I-2117, as well as the coming election, which will see a lot of legislator turnover and a new Governor. But next year will be here before we know it, and some of the work legislators and advocates have done to refine important legislation will have another opportunity to make a difference.

Check out our Bill Tracker to see the status of the bills we’ve been keeping an eye on this Session.

Keep moving,

Transportation Choices

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