Transportation is topic number one in Olympia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis picture is an aerial view of Interstate 82 in Yakima (courtesy WSDOT). It’s just one of dozens of projects that would be completed if the latest statewide transportation package is passed into law. But there’s a catch…it comes with an 11.5-cent gas tax increase.

That’s not to say it’s a no-brainer “no” vote. After all, the package proposed by the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) also includes landmark reforms that will streamline the state’s transportation system and save taxpayers millions down the road (so to speak). It will also keep the state Department of Transportation accountable for its mistakes and oversights, reduce the regulatory burden on transportation construction projects and ensure tolls are kept in the area where they are enacted, among other things.

The MCC proposal would fully fund two major projects in Yakima County: the east-west corridor overpass and bridge ($45 million) and economic development improvements to I-82 in Union Gap ($56 million).

Do you think these projects coupled with the reforms are worth an 11.5-cent gas tax increase? I’m very interested in knowing how you feel about this issue and I invite you to contact me to share your thoughts. Please click here to send me an e-mail, or call my office at 360-786-7684. I look forward to hearing from you.