Sen. Ann Rivers on her transportation vote

Earlier this week, the governor signed a 16-year, $16 billion transportation package that raises the gas tax by nearly 12 cents.

Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, said voting in favor of the package was the most difficult vote she’s cast since she’s been in the Legislature.

She took to You Tube to explain more.

You can watch here:



Here’s a recap of why she voted in favor of the package.

1. She considers serious reforms to the state’s department of transportation to be part of the package, including the requirement to put out competitive bids to build ferries. The package also ensures the state will no longer charge sales tax on highway construction projects and notes it the sales tax exemption for transit projects.

2. If she didn’t support the package, she believes it would have passed and the only difference would be her district wouldn’t have benefited. “It was no secret supporting the package and being at the table is key to getting projects in your district,” Rivers said. “In the end, I wasn’t going to let the folks in my district pay more at the pump without getting a substantial return.” (Reporter note: I’m pretty sure that’s a dig aimed at Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver.)

3. She praises the package for “neutering” the governor’s ability to pass a low carbon fuel standard or cap-and-trade.

4. “There are no free lunches,” she said. If people want better roads, they have to pay for them.

5. “Negotiation is the art of compromise. If you’re a ‘no’ no matter what and all the time, you’re saying you don’t want to get anything done,” Rivers said.


Lauren Dake

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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