Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed three of Rep. Luis Moscosoís bills into law so far and has yet another one waiting on her desk.
ďThere are so many steps in the legislative process that when one, or several, of your bills make it all the way, there is a definite feeling of accomplishment. You really do know these new laws are necessary and will make a difference,Ē said the Mountlake Terrace Democrat, who sponsored eight bills and two resolutions in his freshman session.
The first Moscoso measure to get Gregoireís signature was House Bill 1520, on Friday, April 29. This legislation, requested by the Transportation Commission, will turn over the responsibility of a 2.51-mile section of State Route 527 from the state to the City of Bothell. The transferred section will be developed into a suburban multi-way boulevard with pedestrian walkways and bikeways.
ďThis bill is about increasing economic vitality in the 1st Legislative District. By removing this portion of 527 from the state-highway system and transferring it to the City of Bothell, there will be a more desirable balance between regional and local mobility needs. It will also help better connect the newer part of the city in Snohomish County with the older part in King County,Ē Moscoso said.
His other two bills, HB 1229 and HB 1384, were signed yesterday.
Moscoso explained that House Bill 1229, requested by the Department of Licensing, is necessary to maintain important federal highway funds for our state. ďNext year all 50 states must comply with revised federal requirements, including new rules for driverís certifications, medical examinerís certificates, and other recordkeeping. My bill will make sure our commercial drivers are in compliance with these new rules so that we donít lose these much-needed funds.Ē
Without Moscosoís bill, Washington would not meet the revised federal requirements, which would then have three very negative outcomes:
- Our commercial drivers would be ineligible to operate in interstate commerce.
- Our state could lose up to $17 million of federal highway funds for the first year of noncompliance, and up to $34 million for subsequent years.
- Our State Patrol would not be able to apply for an $8 million grant for its commercial-vehicle division because it has to certify that Washington is in compliance as part of its grant application.
Also to comply with new federal rules, the Department of Transportation requested House Bill 1384. This measure will help small contractors on transportation projects receive prompt payment, a requirement in the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise regulations.
ďMy bill eliminates an old contracting practice so that small or disadvantaged businesses that work with the Department of Transportation can get paid more quickly,Ē Moscoso said. He also explained that the federal rule requires prime contractors to pay subcontractors in full no later than 30 days after the work is satisfactorily completed. ďIn our current economy, this is great news for Washingtonís small contractors that need relief because they donít have as much of a buffer as larger companies.Ē
Moscosoís other legislation, House Bill 1710, which creates a strategic plan for career and technical education, will be signed by the governor tomorrow.