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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Bus riders and County roads left hanging by Legislature’s failure to act on sustainable funding for transportation

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine today spelled out the consequences to the public of inaction by the state Legislature on Senate Bill 6582 and House Bill 2751:

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine today spelled out the consequences to the public of inaction by the state Legislature on Senate Bill 6582 and House Bill 2751:

"The people of King County needed action by the state Legislature on a sustainable, long-term transportation solution, but for the third year in a row, they have been left standing on the curb.

"Despite having the votes and bipartisan support for 'local-option' bills to allow counties to ask voters for desperately-needed transit and road revenues, lawmakers failed to bring those bills to the floor.

"The Legislature's inaction keeps bus riders in a state of uncertainty. Sustainable funding for transit is needed within two years, after expiration of the temporary Congestion Reduction Charge (CRC) that was enacted after a groundswell of public support. Passage of the CRC allowed Metro to defer devastating cuts to the Metro system that would have affected the commutes of four out of five riders.

"The current system for funding County roads across the state hasn't been revisited in the last 25 years, and it no longer works. The failure of the state to address local roads funding has led to a sharp decline that required the layoff of 111 needed County roads workers over the last two years - an overall reduction of nearly one in five - and an approach that fully maintains only the highest-priority roads that serve the most residents.

"As a consequence of the Legislature's inaction, more roads workers must be eliminated, further eroding our ability to repair and maintain County roads in the unincorporated area. And once we let the quality of our roads system decline, it is that much more difficult and expensive to bring it back.

"I must now have a discussion with members of the County Council about how we are going to deal with the consequences of this disappointing legislative session.

"I appreciate the time and service of all the legislators who worked in good faith to find common-sense solutions for Washingtonians given the state's difficult budget, including preserving funding for K-12 and higher education, and I applaud the Governor for her work to hold the Legislature's feet to the fire. But on transportation, the job simply did not get done."



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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