Negotiations to begin this week on transportation package

Weeks after Senate passage of a statewide transportation revenue package, it looks like the House of Representatives is finally ready to enter into earnest negotiations on a final deal.

As was reported in the News Tribune, the House Transportation Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a striking amendment to the Senate proposal. This would allow transportation leaders from the two chambers to enter into negotiations the next day.

Time is ticking, however. With the Legislature scheduled to adjourn in just 13 days, both sides must be prepared to compromise to reach a final deal.

Fortunately, transportation leaders are largely in agreement on most of the details of the package. However, the remaining issues must be resolved if we are to see badly needed investments in unfinished trade corridors like state routes 167 and 509. 

As Sen. Curtis King noted in the News Tribune: "The longer we wait, the more increased costs we have. I think from that standpoint, it's critical" lawmakers get their work done.