The Legislature has given up on reaching a transportation deal in time for a possible special session before its next regular session (here are details from our partners at The Seattle Times). So, King County Executive Dow Constantine says in a statement out late today, it looks like the county is going to have to start traveling down its own road for transportation funding:
A statewide transportation package that is fair and balanced is still our first choice, so of course I’m disappointed at the continued inability of state legislators to reach agreement on a solution. I urge lawmakers to take action on a balanced package as soon as possible in the next legislative session.
“But the consequences of continued delay are unacceptable. We need the tools to address our urgent transportation needs, and we need them now. In the absence of action by the state, we must pursue a local option that uses the tools currently available to us.
“I look forward to working with the County Council to determine the timing for a measure to put before voters, and the proper mix of revenues, so that King County voters can have the chance to save bus service and maintain local roads.”
This would seem to suggest so-called “Plan B” – explained here one month ago as “existing state law (allowing) the Metropolitan King County Council to enact an ordinance creating a transportation benefit district with specific revenue authorities, including sales taxes and a flat annual vehicle fee” – is more likely than ever.