Inslee vetoes Pike’s bill

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed hundreds of measures into law this session and vetoed only a handful.

One of the bills he struck down recently was a measure championed by Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas.

The bill, which Pike made one of her priorities to pass this session, aimed to broaden the scope of what could be developed in rural parts of the state.

House Bill 1504 would add “freight rail dependent uses” and “short line railroad” to the Growth Management Act, opening up rail-served land for development.

The measure sailed through both the House on a 83-14 vote and the Senate with a 41-8 vote.

But Inslee killed the measure in its entirety because he felt it would undermine the Growth Management Act, which he said “created the framework for thoughtful growth and comprehensive development plans while protecting vital resource lands.”

“While this bill might help rural counties to develop adjacent to short line railroads in designated counties, it would undermine our longstanding commitment to preserve working farms and promote our agricultural economy,” Inslee wrote in his veto statement.

A broader review of the act in the future is necessary, the governor said, a process which is currently underway.

Pike blasted back at the governor, calling her measure “one of the few meaningful job-creation bills” to pass the Legislature this session.

“Most disappointingly, however, is that Governor Inslee has once again shown that job creation and the economic vitality of those citizens who live beyond what he can see from the top of the Seattle Space Needle is just not important to him,” Pike said.

Pike said opening up the land would have created thousands of manufacturing jobs in Clark County.



Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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