Transportation Committee talks legislative package


Jim McCauley   The WEA Transportation Committee met this week with Washington County's Jim McCauley and State Representative Richard Vial.
   HB2017, also known as "the transportation package," which was passed by the State Legislature this month, was the main topic of discussion with the group.
   McCauley, who has worked countless hours in Salem on this package, said this legislation is comprehensive in nature, and it sets a new precedence in terms of the number of elements in it. 
   He said the biggest loss in the package was the regional match component, where the state would've matched funding for what a metro region raised in a transportation bond measure.
   Here on the Westside there will be congestion relief going to Highway 217.  
  There is also funding for public transit statewide; investments in bike and pedestrian facilities; and rebates for electric vehicles.
   It also has a number of funding mechanisms that are phased in over time.
   Representative Vial said the Governor did show great leadership in getting this package passed and praised her efforts with the Joint Committee On Transportation Preservation and Modernization.   
   McCauley anticipates another transportation bill will be brought forward in the next few years to address more of the needs that didn't get funding in this bill. 
   To view an easy to read overview of the package, click here.