I’m wondering if now might not be the perfect time for the state Legislature to attempt to repeal Washington’s Defense Of Marriage Act, since political buggery appears to be all the rage in Olympia these days:
A bill co-sponsored by Senate transportation chair Mary Margaret Haugen (D-10) and North Seattle Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-46) would severely restrict Seattle’s say in major state construction projects like reconstruction of the SR-520 bridge and the deep-bore tunnel along the waterfront.
Essentially, the bill would exempt the state department of transportation from the requirement to get local government permits to build state highway projects—a clear swipe at Seattle, which has two major state highway projects—the waterfront tunnel and replacement of the 520 bridge over Lake Washington—in the pipeline.
Specifically, the state transportation department would no longer be “required to obtain local government master use permits, conditional use permits, special use permits, or other similar local zoning permits for staging areas related to the construction of state highways.”
Additionally, under the bill, any street use permits obtained by the state for major state road projects (i.e., the tunnel) would be “presumed approved as submitted” and could only be appealed in superior court, not to a local hearing examiner “or through any other local appeal process.”
So, let me get this straight. Under this proposed legislation, and last year’s measure funding the deep bore tunnel, the state could build whatever it wants, wherever it wants, whenever it wants, without any input or say from local governments, and then (here’s the punchline…) stick local taxpayers with any cost overruns.
Or, I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t we just give Rep. Doug Eriksen the billions of dollars the state has reserved for replacing the 520 bridge and the Viaduct, so that he can spread the money around throughout the rest of Washington like he says he wants to do, while at the same time we eliminate the state gas and MVET taxes altogether, and hand off such authority to cities and counties to levy these taxes locally, if they so choose, to pay for the local transit and transportation projects they want?
That way, the rest of the state won’t have to worry about Seattle stealing its money, while we in the Seattle area can address our own infrastructure needs without worrying about the rest of the state repeatedly fucking us up the ass.
I’m just sayin’.