Governor signs Rep. Dave Hayes’ bill allowing Island County future transportation funding options
A measure sponsored by Rep. Dave Hayes that allows Island County to form an organization of local governments to plan and fund future transportation projects was signed into law Friday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
House Bill 2815 gives Island County the authority to form a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) to prepare regional transportation plans, ensure local and regional coordination of transportation planning, and maintain a six-year regional transportation improvement plan.
“This will help to provide some additional certainty toward the planning and funding of transportation projects for growth and development on Island County,” said Hayes, R-Camano Island.
An RTPO can cover both urban and rural areas, and receives state funding in support of its planning efforts. Under existing law, an RTPO must contain at least one county and have a population of at least 100,000, or contain at least three geographically-contiguous counties.
Island County had previously been in a 24-year RTPO partnership with Skagit County. But last year, Skagit County voted to separate itself from that regional transportation agreement and form its own RTPO because its population had surpassed 100,000. So that left Island County alone and ineligible to form an RTPO.
Under Hayes' bill, counties with a population of greater than 75,000 that also contain a Washington State Ferries' terminal would be authorized to form an RTPO.
“The geographical constraints of an island present their own unique challenges when it comes to having an effective infrastructure that creates a smooth-flowing transportation system. Planning is a vital part of that process. That's why this bill is so important for Island County,” said Hayes. “This bill provides the eligibility needed for Island County to form an RTPO, conduct planning efforts, and to be able to qualify for federal and state transportation funding. I'm very pleased it is becoming law.”
The bill becomes effective July 1.
Photo: Gov. Jay Inslee has signed Rep. Dave Hayes' regional transportation planning measure, House Bill 2815, into law. The measure allows Island County to form a Regional Transportation Planning Organization that will allow for planning and funding of local transportation projects.
###Washington State House Republican Communications