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Transpo Leaders: Window May Be Closing on Gas Tax Package

Rachel La Corte
Associated Press

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to agree on a multi-billion dollar roads and transit package. If they don’t act soon, a vote could be delayed for another year, said two key transportation leaders on Thursday.

Senators Tracey Eide, a Democrat, and Curtis King, a Republican, co-chair the Senate transportation committee.

“I’m worried that if we don’t do it in December, I don’t know if we’re going to see it next session,” said Eide, D-Federal Way.

Asked why, Eide added, “To be frank with you, it’s election year, and I don’t know if Sen. King could get votes out of his caucus.” 

“I don’t know that either side wants to take this vote in a regular session,” said King, R-Yakima. “The longer it drags out, the more and more complicated it’s going to become. And my concern would be that then you end up with nothing, and then we wait until 2015.”

The Legislature meets in regular session in January. There has been talk of a special session before the year is out. Behind the scenes, negotiations continue, but stumbling blocks remain.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.