It's the E's I guess: Economy, Education, Ethics, Environment. And then a P for Preparedness thrown in.
But no T for Transportation.
Senate President Courtney and Speaker Kotek had already dismissed notions about a transportation package this year and pushed it off to the 2017 session, though Rep. Davis from Wilsonville has said he would introduce a smaller transportation bill that includes a four cent gas tax. But there hasn't been much talk or enthusiasm for this since.
There may be a few related odd-and-ends, though.
the transit bill the Chamber looks to nudge here and there, though how much passion they'll have for it remains a question. On Friday the paper had more on the concept, co-sponsored it turns out by Rep. Post (R-Keizer) and Rep Buckley (D-Ashland):
Post's bill would establish a way for transit authorities, like Salem-Keizer Area Public Transit, also known as Cherriots, to request funding grants. To qualify for a grant, a transit authority would have to serve an area with a population less than 200,000, or refrain from levying employer taxes. It also would need to specify how the grant would be used and what benefits it would create to receive and keep grant money.Something that jumps out here - and didn't earlier - is a matter of tone: It seems like the concept approaches transit agencies from a baseline position of distrust, like they are engaged in misbehaving and have to be monitored closely. There's something patronizing about this bill perhaps. (The paper also declined to point out that there was no money attached to the bill.)
The other concept is from Senator Courtney, but it doesn't seem to apply to Cherriots at all. "Courtney's bill would allow transit districts funded by employer payroll taxes to add an employee tax." In excluding them, he doesn't seem to be rooting for the home team. This is hard to understand. Hopefully more will come out about it.
Our whole approach to transit just seems strange and even dysfunctional.
Salem Weekly came out with a strong endorsement of the carbon cap-and-trade concept Senator Edwards talked about late last year. (But the Governor under her E-for-Environment heading doesn't seem also to share enthusiasm for cap-and-trade.)
There also seems to be some interest in a deal to make inclusionary zoning legal.
Maybe there's a few other things, but I just haven't seen that much chatter about things of direct interest here, and there may not be much here to follow in the session.
Draft bills don't seem to be in the database yet, so more things might emerge when keyword searches are possible, however.
Do you know of any other transportation and urban land-use issues that have realistic prospects this session?