Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Using Boeing as cover, Gov. Jay Inslee called the Legislature back to Olympia this week for a special session.
But with Boeing unions yet to agree to build the new 777x aircraft here, the aircraft manufacturer is hardly the reason for lawmakers to be back in Olympia.
Rather, Gov. Inslee is calling on them to approve a new transportation package, and with it a 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike.
State Senate Republicans, backed by a majority of residents statewide, want the state Department of Transportation to rein in spending before passing a costly $9 billion tax package for bridge and road work.
That’s the right position to take.
The department has squandered millions of dollars in recent years constructing roundabouts on highways that don’t need them, installing guardrails on rural roads that have little need for them and erecting fencing on rocky outcroppings along rural highways. Those projects were unnecessary and unwanted east of the Cascades.
Gov. Inslee says the state’s transportation and traffic congestion issues aren’t fixable without a tax hike. Simply put, that’s not true.
If the state focused on much-needed repairs rather than unnecessary pet projects, there’s plenty of money coming into state coffers. If the state would live within its means — as taxpayers have to do — there wouldn’t be a need for a tax increase at the pump.
Fuel is the lifeblood for farmers, ranchers and orchardists here in Eastern Washington. And increasing the cost 10 cents per gallon would only be tightening the noose around the neck of our struggling rural economy.
If Western Washington wants circular traffic flow and wider lanes, let residents there pay for them with local-option taxes. We’ll pay for the improvements we want on this side of the state when the economy improves.
More like this story
- Fishing to open for hatchery steelhead, rainbows
- Federal help sought for fire recovery
- Legislator calls for fight against McCleary
- Family Faire wraps up today
- Friday football scores: Okanogan wins big
- 820 (2015-518, Oct. 7, 14, 21) IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF OKANOGAN
- 820 (2015-513 Oct. 7) NOTICE OF PUBLIC TIMBER SALE
- 820 (2015-512 Oct. 7, 14) NOTICE OF PUBLIC TIMBER SALE
- 820 (2015-507 Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21) IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON FOR OKANOGAN COUNTY
- 820 (2015-503 Sept. 30, Oct. 7) NOTICE OF HEARING PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 1 OF OKANOGAN COUNTY 2016 PROPOSED BUDGET
State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge