Some Democrats and their far-left supporters are not happy with the state Senate’s bi-partisan transportation package. The Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC) called the bill a “poison pill” in a recent email, picking up on lefty blog Publicola’s description of the package.
Republicans’ insistence that the compromise package contain a safeguard against Jay Inslee imposing a fuel mandate by executive order is the primary cause of the Left’s displeasure. As Shift reported, the package includes a provision that would pull funding from transit if the state were to adopt a fuel mandate. If the mandate were adopted, “all non-bondable revenues — such as fee-based money going toward transit and bike paths — would instead be moved into the main transportation account.”
According to the EPC, the safeguard would “force Governor Inslee and the Legislature to choose between funding for transit or a clean fuels standard that reduces air pollution from cars” and is, therefore, a “poison pill.” The extreme environmental group further claims that the bill “undermines the public interest by pitting important environmental priorities [i.e. transit and a fuel mandate] against each other” and urges their supporters to tell their legislators not to support the bill.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the far-left’s vendetta against the state Senate’s transportation package is their insistence that no ground is given—Democrats will not accept the reality of compromise, they want it all. The state Senate is controlled by Republicans and the state House by Democrats, passing a needed transportation package will require a bi-partisan effort. That means compromise, which means no side will walk away completely happy.
Democrats’ greediness—their all-or-nothing approach—only reveals the powerful chock hold they have held our state in for far too long. Democrats have grown used getting their way without compromise or check on their power, the current poor condition of transportation in our state is a testament to their control.
During the 2014 legislative session, Democrats held a transportation package hostage to meeting all their demands. Democrats—with the help of Jay Inslee—effectively sabotaged efforts to pass a transportation package then, twisting reality, blamed Republicans. That cannot happen this time around, Democrats must be held accountable for their refusal to compromise at the expense of a needed transportation package.
The reforms Republicans are asking for are not improbable, hyper-partisan or extreme. This weekend, the state Senate Transportation Committee will hear the following reforms:
- No additional funding for Bertha cost overruns
- Making congestion relief a priority
- Protecting transportation dollars via sales tax reform
- Requiring the vote of the people for additional Sound Transit funding
- Allowing for competitive bids for ferry construction, would save millions
- Protects environmental clean up funds
- Lower future project costs via red tape relief, bringing labor costs to federal standards
- Prioritizing projects by job growth and economic benefits to local communities