The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus released their latest proposal yesterday and it includes an additional $111 million for special needs transportation over the next twelve years. This is a significant increase over the proposal released this fall, but it still isn't perfect. The proposal neglects to include any new funding for community organizations providing special needs transportation. Instead, it allocates all of the additional funding to transit agencies offering paratransit services.
MS activists should be pleased that legislators heard our message from the Day of Activism. But we shouldn't rest. The House still needs to approve the transportation package, and this will only occur once legislators reach a consensus over reforms that the Senate is proposing. That consensus could take some time, but we hope legislators will move forward. MS activists should continue pressing legislators to take action on improving the state of accessible transportation in Washington. Too many people with MS and other disabilities need it!
MS activists should continue to talk about the importance of special needs transportation at legislators' town halls and on social media. If you are on Twitter (and now Facebook!), join the discussion with these hashtags:
#WaLeg - all things Washington Legislature
#WaTranspo - tweets about the transportation package
#KeepUsMoving - our hashtag for special needs transportation advocates
#MSactivist - for all your MS advocacy