He said action on the bill, which would divide the state into 12 transportation regions, is overdue.
The House committee was trying to put finishing touches on the bill as the Legislature wrapped up its 26th day of the 40-day session. Legislation must pass one chamber of the Legislature before the 30th day to have a chance to become law this year.
Under the bill, each of the 12 regions would hold a referendum on a list of transportation projects, and a penny sales tax to pay for them. If a region’s voters passed the tax, the money collected in the region would all be spent on projects in that region.
Well, this is mostly what we've been clamoring for for the past three years. My fear is that the bill gets tweaked such that a portion of the funds are dedicated to highway projects and only a small percentage is established for transit, pedestrian, or bicycling infrastructure.
The process should be open so that each region can establish its own transportation priorities. State-wide, it will likely lead to a mottled and dis-jointed approach to transportation planning, but at least we'll have a chance to prepare for a future that will demand less driving, whether we like it or not.
Text of HB 1218 here, if you're feeling masochistic.