‘Fourth-quarter comeback’ for rail bill signed into law today

On Thursday, the governor took a different course on freight rail jobs, signing a measure sponsored by Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, to open Clark County to hundreds and potentially thousands of new rail jobs. The governor previously vetoed a companion version of the bill.

“It’s a rare opportunity to get a second shot at passing a bill after it’s been vetoed. It’s like a fourth-quarter comeback,” said Wilson. “I’m honored the governor approached me to revive this bill and give us another shot at bringing these jobs to Clark County.”

Senate Bill 5517 will allow for certain lands adjacent to railroads to be developed for freight rail dependent uses such as fabrication, processing, storage, and transport of goods. Coal, crude oil and liquefied natural gas uses are excluded.

The vetoed companion bill allowed this development in multiple counties across Washington, but the final bill signed today narrows the allowed development to Clark and Okanogan Counties.

“I see this as a pilot project, where we can demonstrate success in Clark County that can be brought to the rest of the state,” said Wilson.