Conventional wisdom is that legislation authorizing the deep-bore tunnel wouldn't have passed without a provision, supported by House Speaker Frank Chopp, putting Seattle property owners on the hook for cost overruns.

However, state House transportation committee member Brendan Williams (D-22) told PubliCola yesterday that Chopp's language actually lacked support in the House. (We talked to Williams in the context of our story yesterday about last year's vote). Only when the powerful speaker insisted on inserting the language, Williams said, did the House pass the amendment by a narrow margin, 49 to 47.

"If Speaker Chopp allowed a vote to remove his provision, enough people would vote yes to remove it unless they were ordered to vote no," Williams said. "I never felt the stick-it-to-Seattle provision was necessary."
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