In legislating, in politics, doing nothing is easy. Risk is minimal, efficiency maximized. Partisanship, the art of orchestrating your opponent’s failure, is only slightly more difficult. Doing something, reaching a difficult goal for the good of the state and all its citizens, that is difficult. Bipartisanship and compromise are required almost always. Risks are great, leadership and courage essential.
It appeared to be a reasonable hope at the start of this year that the Washington Legislature would take the difficult road and accomplish something important. It could, with effort, craft and pass a transportation package, with funding. The ingredients were there — needs were obvious and great in all parts of the state, leaders in both parties knew it, and influential constituents were supportive. A gas tax hike would be necessary, but nothing could be done without it.