O’Ban tries to resurrect bill that would codify voter-approved I-976

In the final hours of debate before the Senate’s “floor cutoff” this afternoon, Sen. Steve O’Ban tried to resurrect his proposal to put November’s voter-approved Initiative 976 into state law.

O’Ban, R-Pierce County, called for the rarely used “ninth order,” a floor procedure to bring his I-976 proposal, Senate Bill 6245, directly from the Senate Transportation Committee to the floor for a full Senate vote.

However, O’Ban’s effort was defeated along party lines, as majority Democrats prevented SB 6245 from receiving a floor vote.

“At a time when we are flush with an additional $1.5 billion,” said O’Ban, referring to the state revenue forecast issued today, “the voters deserve to have relief from something they overwhelmingly demanded, and that is car-tab tax relief. We need to deliver it and we need to do it now before we finish our business this afternoon.”

In addition to codifying I-976, SB 6245 would backfill revenue lost from lower car-tab fees by making the sales tax revenue from automobile sales available for transportation funding.

O’Ban sponsored SB 6245 as part of his ongoing effort to provide relief from reckless and exorbitant car-tab fees. The 28th District lawmaker has been fighting for three years to provide relief for residents who have been unwillingly subjected to car-tab fees that support the Sound Transit light-rail project known as ST3.

Initiative 976 was approved by about 53 percent of Washington voters. In Pierce County, the measure was passed by 65.75 percent of voters.