Residents of the 9th Legislative District who want to talk about transportation with leaders of the state Senate have two opportunities coming up: Thursday evening in Pasco and Oct. 2 in Spokane Valley.
Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said Thursday’s meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Gjerde Center at Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Avenue, Pasco.
The following Wednesday’s Spokane-area meeting will also be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the theater at Central Valley High School, which is at 821 S. Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.
Schoesler, who plans to be at both meetings, said there’s little doubt that transportation will be a leading topic of discussion the next time lawmakers meet again at the Capitol.
“The governor and the majority in the House of Representatives wanted a big increase in the gas tax so they could simply pump more money into the same old inefficient approach,” said Schoesler. “The feedback I get around the 9th District is different: fix the system first, so each dollar is used as efficiently as possible, then fund it. That happens to fit nicely with the set of reforms our Senate majority has put on the table to bring down the cost of transportation projects and free up money to be put toward other projects. We’ll be talking in Pasco and Spokane about those as well.”
As Senate Republican leader, Schoesler helped arrange a series of 10 meetings being held around the state. The Pasco meeting is one of two in the state Department of Transportation’s south central region; the Spokane Valley meeting is in the WSDOT’s eastern region. State transportation officials are also taking part in the meetings, Schoesler said.
“I know it’s a commitment to travel to either Pasco or the Spokane area, but now’s the time for people to make their voices heard – to stand up and talk about what they want to see from state government when it comes to having a transportation infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of our families and businesses.”