With the ink on his transportation bills signatures barely dry, Gov. Jay Inslee is reportedly close to signing an order that would wipe out more than $700 million in bicycle, pedestrian and other non-vehicular projects the bill funds. He must also, by Aug. 3, tell the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency whether he will stick by draft clean water standards he announced a year ago, or defer to the agency, which hankers to impose unattainable requirements that will jeopardize Washington businesses.
Transit, bike, and business interests are all warning Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to slow down as he mulls aloud the implementing by executive order of a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) that could trigger higher gas costs and would redirect hundreds of millions of dollars in just-approved transportation budget funds.
A new coalition comprising major corporations, including Cigna and Pfizer, as well as union groups and associations, called the Alliance to Fight the 40, plans to begin a formal campaign against the tax later this month. Called the Cadillac tax, it applies to an individual policy costing more than $10,200 a year and a family policy over $27,500. The tax goes into effect in 2018.
State government will spend 33 percent more on the average student next fiscal year than it did before the state Supreme Court ruled schools are underfunded. State lawmakers approved an annual compliance update to the court Tuesday that highlights both the increases and the differing opinions about how to finish the job.
The Washington Building and Construction Trades Council announced Tuesday it has endorsed the proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. to build the nation’s largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The council, based in Olympia and representing more than 70,000 members in dozens of crafts, said it supports efforts to seek timely regulatory approval so construction may begin.