Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, today issued the following statement after calling the question about a Senate rule that requires a two-thirds majority vote to bring a bill with new revenue to a vote on the Senate floor:
“My parents always taught me to abide by the rules. I feel strongly that as an elected official and member of the legislature that we should do the same. It is incumbent upon us to set a good example for our kids and the citizens of our state.
“On the first day of session, the Republican majority passed a new Senate rule that requires a vote of two-thirds of the body in order to bring a bill with new revenue to the floor for a vote. While Senate Democrats did not support the rule change, we do respect this body, despite our beliefs that the rule violates our state constitution.
“Today was the first opportunity to put that rule to the test. The transportation package includes an increase in gas taxes and other motor vehicle fees that I believe constitute new revenue. The two-thirds rule should not apply only to those taxes the Republican majority likes.
“The transportation package being put forth fails to address all of the priorities of the state for the next 16 years – especially the replacement of the I-5 bridge – the most critical transportation infrastructure investment in my region. By the time this transportation package runs its course in 2031, the bridge will be over 114 years old. We cannot wait another 16 years to find a solution.
“I am committed to continuing to discuss a path forward to including an I-5 bridge replacement in the transportation package that best positions us for a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and a healthier future. I will continue to advocate for fair and balanced investments within any transportation package to best position our state going forward. I will also continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the transportation package that moves forward will meet the test of our standing Senate rules.”