Republicans say they were misled on ST3, Democrats call foul | KUOW News and Information

Republicans say they were misled on ST3, Democrats call foul

Oct 24, 2017

Republicans in the Washington State Senate say Sound Transit misled them two years ago, and that they have a report to prove it.

Democrats are crying foul, saying that's not true.

The story goes back two years. In 2015 the state legislature allowed Sound Transit to seek new taxes to expand light rail service. Then, last year, voters approved ST3, which included higher car-tab taxes.

Earlier this year some car owners got sticker shock on tabs costing around three times more.

So in May Republican state senators launched public hearings to examine if they’d been deceived when they approved that 2015 legislation on more transit taxes. The result? The Republicans say yes, they were misled – and that legislation was unconstitutional.

Yesterday morning Senators Steve O’Ban and Mike Padden released what they said is a report of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. But here’s the rub: Democratic members of the committee said they weren’t consulted, and they said that report wasn’t approved by the full committee.

Democratic Senator Jamie Pedersen said the timing is suspect.

“Now they release a report without giving the minority any chance to view the report, without a vote on it in committee? I mean, uh, well gosh, do you think that might be related to the fact that there’s an election coming up in the 45th district that will determine control of the state senate for next session?” Pedersen said.

A spokesperson for the Republican Senate Caucus declined to respond to the charges on the record. Also, O’Ban did not respond to an interview request.