Leaders of the Ferry Community Partnership are doing a great job in terms of posting updates on what’s happening in Olympia and in getting people there to testify before various committees and/or meet with individual legislators. Here is the most recent update from Adam Brockus.
We had a great day in Olympia. It started out with the news that the Senate passed a couple of Fee Packages that included enough funding for both the 2nd 144-car boat and Ferry Operations until at least 2015.
Now the focus moves to the House. They will be looking to pass a single Fee Package that will do nearly the same as the Senate. It will be a tricky dance and may need some Republican votes to pass. If anyone has connections with Republican House Members who might be swayed such as Rep. Smith and Rep. Bailey, please let us know. The bill will probably be HB 2660, which has already passed out of committee.
The GREAT news is that the House Transportation Bill will contain provisions that stipulate that WSF must provide access for passenger-only ferries when they re-construct Colman Dock in 2015. We ask that you still use this time to comment on their EIS, especially economic and environmental, but things look a lot better.
However the victory is not all complete as Sen. Rolfes FAC reform bill SB 6518 died in the Senate. The Tranportation Leadership wants to concentrate on funding this session. Sen. Rolfes and other Ferry Legislators expressed plans to use the summer to craft legislation for the 2013 Session and the FCP will use their resources too.
So we are in the homestretch and we have a clear path to the finish line and at this point, we just need to let the horse stretch its legs and end. This couldn’t have happened without your lobbying, letters, and e-mails.
There continues to be concern about mustering enough support in the House. Here is a message from Kari Ulatoski regarding this. If you know anyone on Whidbey Island (and other locations in District 10) or in Gig Harbor, please share this information with them.
We need help to persuade the Representatives in ferry districts that are members of the minority party to vote in favor of transportation funding for House Bill 2660.
Anyone living on Whidbey Island (Dist. 10), including Coopeville, Freeland, Clinton, Langley, La Conner please write Reps Barbara Bailey and Norma Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Anyone living around Southworth, Pt Orchard, Gig Harbor, please write Rep Jan Angel: firstname.lastname@example.org