state House Republicans offered last week to help hike the state’s
fuel tax by a nickel – but only after Democrats help enact five
transportation reform bills, according to local media.
allowing private companies to operate passenger-only ferries, streamlining
permits, requiring performance audits, contracting projects out
to the private sector and changing wage rules.
The GOP proposal
could generate $2.5 billion if nearly all of the 5-cent increase
were used to borrow money, The Bellingham Herald reported.
All of it would have to be spent on highways and auto ferries.
would be willing to approve the increase without sending it to voters
for approval. But the plan specifies that for each measure that
fails to pass as written or that is vetoed by the governor, one
penny would be knocked off the fuel tax increase.
voters flatly rejected the Legislature’s $7.8 billion transportation
plan for a 9-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase, higher trucking
fees and a 1 percent additional sales tax on vehicles.