Those who watch modern politics may have forgotten that there once was a time when legislative bodies worked. A time when Members of Congress or state legislators sought opportunities to find common ground to pass meaningful legislation. And not just one major bill every few years, but sometimes tackling several big issues at the same time.

In writing about the proposed Senate transportation package being heard in committee today, the News Tribune reminds us of this previous time. "This harks back to the golden age when conservatives and liberals didn’t routinely battle each other over highways and buses," they write. "Getting people to jobs and goods to markets makes no sense as a partisan issue."

The editorial goes on to note the packages significant investment in the completion of State Route 167, finally completing "those highways and improve interchanges on Interstate 5, getting trucks off the freeway, easing commutes, and greasing the shipment of freight through the Kent Valley."

The paper also addresses an argument that some are making in Olympia-- that given the demands to fund education, lawmakers are not capable of solving both that and our transportation problems. "...the schools need billions, and aren’t they a higher priority? Indeed they are. But this Legislature can adopt a transportation package and also take the next big step toward full funding for education. Over the long term, in fact, efficient roads and transit are part of educational funding: They grow the economy, and a growing economy pumps more revenue into the schools. Education and transportation make a pair of issues that cries out for bipartisan agreement."

The News Tribune is not the only paper that calls for lawmakers to set aside partisan differences and pass a transportation package. The Seattle Times over the weekend called on legislators to "not let ideology stand in the way of a transportation deal." The Spokesman Review agrees, describing the package as "a good start" as does the Yakima Herald and the Everett Herald.

The introduction of the Senate transportation package is but a first step in the legislative process. Let's hope that lawmakers keep the momentum up and quickly act. It is time to finish what we started and complete SR 167.