2018 Legislative Session Update
The 2018 Washington State legislative session just came to an end. While there was no successful major attacks on our sport, nothing pro-OHV was accomplished and there was a reduction to our NOVA grant appropriation.
Even though the Legislature fully funded the Nonhighway and Offroad Activities (NOVA) account at just over thirteen million dollars less than two months ago, on the last day of the session they passed a supplemental capital budget that reduced that amount by two million dollars.
The excuses for this varied, but the two most prominent were a miscalculation of projected revenue and a gubernatorial request.
Concerning a possible miscalculation, even though we aggressively sought data to back up that assertion, none was forthcoming.
As to the Governor’s request, that was put in writing within the budget he proposed before the start of the 2018 legislative session.
Legislation to improve the Discover Pass that would have added number of exemptions including vehicles used for ORV recreation that are hauled to the site by a vehicle with a Discover Pass.
This legislation was the result of a tax payer funded study by the Ruckelhaus Center and facilitated by volunteers like former WOHVA board member Crystal Crowder and others that put in countless hours supporting the study effort and the resulting recommendations to the legislature.
Rather that acting on these well considered recommendations the Legislature chose to ignore them and do nothing.
Multiple bills that would have expanded WATV road use were introduced but for the most part they were killed in the House Transportation Committee without as much as even a committee vote.
On the bright side, none of the proposed "carbon tax" legislation, all of which would have significantly raised gas taxes without a corresponding increase to our NOVA funds, was passed.
If the 2018 legislative session is any indication of what the future holds, the OHV enthusiast community must step up their level of participation in the legislative process for there to be any hope of pro-OHV outcomes.
Want to get involved locally? Here's some of our local groups' Facebook pages:
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