You can do both
Pierce County's Regional Access Mobility Partnership (RAMP) this week called on the state legislature to complete its work on a statewide transportation revenue package.
While acknowledging the need to also fund education as part of the state's operating budget, RAMP's co-chairs, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Pierson and Port of Tacoma Commissioner Don Meyer, expressed confidence in lawmakers' ability to do both.
"The progress made to date on a statewide transportation revenue and reform package is extremely encouraging. At the same time we recognize the challenges regarding the operating budget and fully funding education," they wrote. "We encourage lawmakers to continue negotiating both items during the special session and find a pathway that accomplishes and moves our state forward in both areas."
The Seattle Times agreed, noting that the time for action is now: "Legislators are close enough to taste the victory of passing a statewide transportation package that would create thousands of jobs and make the state’s infrastructure safer for all. They must not let this opportunity slip before the second session ends."
The paper goes on to note that some issues remain. Of particular note is the governor's proposed low carbon fuel standard. However, if the two sides cannot resolve these remaining issues, they will come away from Olympia with egg on their face.
"Negotiators say they are nearing a deal," the paper writes. "They and the governor should close it—or face explaining why they didn’t to voters next year."