Mayor Mike McGinn has said repeatedly (most recently at a press availability last week) that he will push the state legislature to remove both the infamous cost overruns provision (putting Seattle on the hook for any cost overruns on the deep-bore tunnel) and the $2.8 billion cap on the state's portion of the cost. So far, legislators say, he hasn't pushed at all.

Seven members of the Seattle-area legislative delegation say they have not been approached by McGinn on the overruns provision (or anything else) in anticipation of the upcoming legislative session. (We have calls in to the rest of the delegation, but they weren't immediately available for comment.)

It isn't like the mayor would be thrown out of their offices. Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36), a transportation committee member who voted for the provisions to make Seattle pay last year, said she would now be “supportive of deleting" them. “It’s now clear to me that that’s unenforceable and it’s just causing delay and consternation and so let’s clear that up," she said. Dickerson had not heard from Mayor McGinn on the issue.

Rep. Deb Eddy (D-48, Kirkland), another transportation committee member (although not a member of the Seattle house delegation which split six in favor five against the original cost overruns provision in 2009), questioned whether it made sense for McGinn to lobby on the cost overruns provisions at all. In her opinion, they're toothless anyway. "I know that the Seattle elected officials continue to be upset about [the overruns provision]," but they were "largely done for political effect." Rep. Eddy cited the Attorney General: "we'd have to take some further action to make it anything less than a threat. God, I can't see spending a lot of time on that this session."

A spokesman from the Mayor's office did not return calls for comment on McGinn's outreach to the Seattle delegation. Asked whether he had spoken to delegation members during a media briefing last week, McGinn said only, "that is something we will be talking to legislators about." And during a briefing in late October, McGinn said, "I just don’t think we can trust the politicians in Olympia to protect us from cost overruns."

Last year, the city council hired its own lobbyist to lobby the legislature on the tunnel issue, a drastic step city council president Richard Conlin tells PubliCola the council is unlikely to take this year.

Chris Kissel and Laura Hawkins contributed to this report.
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