How they voted in Olympia 6/29


Transportation Revenues

House Bill 1954 is a $ 10 billion transportation revenue package for 2013-15 that features a 10.5 cent fuel tax increase—6.5 cents in the first year, 4 cents in the second year. The increased fuel tax revenue would be distributed to the new Connecting Washington Account, the Puget Sound Ferry Operations Account, the Puget Sound Capital Construction Account, and cities and counties. It also creates a freight project fee equal to 15 percent of the current gross weight fee to be used for freight projects. The current gross weight fees and passenger weight fees by are increased by $15, $25, $35, and $33 depending on if the vehicle weighs less than 4,000; 6,000; 8,000; or 10,000 pounds. The State Finance Committee is authorized to issue up to $650 million in toll revenue bonds to help finance the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project on Interstate 5. The bill also provides a variety of local revenue options. It first failed the house on June 26 by a vote of 48-42.

Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, voted for the bill. Reps. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, and Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, voted against the bill. Rep. Dean Takko, D-Longview, was excused from the vote.

It was reconsidered on June 27, and passed the House by a vote of 51-41.

Blake, Tharinger and Van De Wege voted for the bill. Takko was excused from the vote.

Drunken-driving laws

Senate Bill 5912 changes DUI provisions relating to making a fourth offense a felony; increases the penalty for DUI with a child in the vehicle, makes driving the wrong way to the normal flow of traffic an aggravating circumstance and prohibits courts from deferring DUI sentences. The bill also creates a 24/7 sobriety program and requires the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police chiefs to conduct a 24/7 sobriety program pilot project. It also establishes the Washington impaired driving work group to study effective strategies for reducing vehicle related deaths and serious injuries as a result of impaired driving, It passed the Senate on June 26 by a vote of 46-0.

Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, and Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, voted for the bill.

The bill passed the House on June 27 by a vote of 92-0. It now goes to the governor.

Blake, Tharinger and Van De Wege voted for the bill. Takko was excused from the vote.

Telephone service taxes

House Bill 1971 repeals the state and local sales and use tax exemption for local residential landline service. It also requires retailers of prepaid wireless telephone service to collect and remit the Enhanced 911 tax. and allows a seller of prepaid wireless to charge an additional 5 cents per retail transaction to offset the cost of collecting the tax. The bill also repeals the taxes funding the Washington Telephone Assistance and Telecommunications Relay Service programs and requires the programs to be funded by State General Fund appropriations, and it establishes a temporary state universal communications services program. It passed the House on June 27 by a vote of 77-15.

Blake, Tharinger and Van De Wege voted for the bill. Takko was excused from the vote.

SOURCE: WashingtonVotes.org