The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.

Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
In Our View: The Special Legislative Session

United for transportation

The windfall of Tuesday's $121 million revenue forecast should accelerate passage of Washington's operating budget. Within hours of the operating budget vote, a transportation package -- central to the state's economic future -- may (irritating conditional tense again) get floated.
Notwithstanding second-session fatigue, lawmakers need to regroup and make transportation the post-K-12 priority uno. A united front of regional labor, business and local governments has coalesced around Rep. Judy Clibborn's proposal for $7.8 billion in expenditures over 12 years. Lions and lambs, Republicans and Democrats, are laboring in common cause towards a common purpose.
Why? Something about a preventable train wreck concentrates the mind.
Rep. Clibborn's House budget recognizes Snohomish County and the state's largest industrial center as a core economic driver. Make no mistake: Landing the Boeing 777X for Washington is specifically linked to a transportation package. What does and doesn't get done sends a stark message.
Rep. Clibborn's budget aligns with priorities flagged by the Washington Aerospace Partnership. It includes $44 million for the Highway 526 Hardeson Road Interchange at Paine Field. The Senate budget has nothing. Rep. Clibborn's plan has $34 million for I-5 north Marine View Drive to Highway 528 (the peak-use shoulder lane for Everett to Marysville.) Zero from the Senate. Clibborn wants freight-corridor improvements on 41st Street in Everett. The Senate is 0-3.
"We need a package, and we need a House package," said Everett city councilmember Paul Roberts. Roberts has strategized closely with the Economic Alliance, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, and Reid Shockey, the president of the Snohomish County Committee for Improved Transportation.
In a Wednesday email to legislators, Stephanson wrote. "From the City of Everett's perspective I am sure you recognize that, at a minimum, any transportation package must include the 'North Puget Sound Manufacturing Corridor' projects that are in Chairwoman Clibborn's House 'striking amendment.'"
Stephanson is spot on. The public interest and fostering growth need to trump politics.
"Transportation improvement projects are critical to the health of our county and state economy," said Shannon Affholter, vice president of the Economic Alliance. "Our state simply cannot wait any longer to invest in infrastructure to support our core industries; otherwise they will end up moving jobs elsewhere, hurting Washington families."
Policymakers better internalize Affholter's message. We're in the fight of our (aerospace-sector) lives, and time is short.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.


Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we wonít ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet highlights

Snackable smelt
Snackable smelt: For a Northwest treat, fry up a batch of these small fish
Cheap labor — too cheap
Cheap labor — too cheap: Herald editorial: Young athletes should be paid their due
'We look like world champions'
'We look like world champions': M's Cano likes look of team, but knows they must 'prove it'
Hard-hitting girls
Hard-hitting girls: Bruises are badges of honor for Washington Wild hockey team