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No Transportation Deal Before Christmas – Impasse is Announced

December 23, 2013 J

OLYMPIA, Dec. 18.—Looks like there won’t be a transportation deal before Christmas – and with it goes any thought of a pre-session special session.

Negotiators for the House and Senate announced Wednesday evening that they failed to reach an agreement after a dozen meetings behind closed doors. It doesn’t mean the issue is dead. But it does kick it forward to the 2014 legislative session, which begins Jan. 13. And suddenly that raises any number of possibilities about the way the issue will play during the 60-day sojourn at the Capitol. It could mean, for instance, that the chance lawmakers will take on worker’s comp and water-quality standards next session just got a whole lot better.

The announcement came in the form of a news release issued just after 6 p.m. Wednesday night – a joint statement from the office of Gov. Jay Inslee and the negotiators representing House and Senate caucuses. It reads:

“Through 12 negotiating sessions we made progress on finding a compromise package of statewide transportation improvements. But today it has become clear this phase of the process has run its course and we have not reached an agreement.

“We agree that transportation infrastructure is important to our state and we remain committed to finding a solution in the regular legislative session that works for everyone.

“The next step in this process will be to continue this dialogue in the legislative process.”

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