It's Day 1 of the 2012 legislative session, and already we have action on ferries, car inspections, toll roads and other transportation stuff.
* Inspections will still be required for all cars. The House-Senate Joint Transportation Oversight Committee today had no interest in discussing, evaluating or modifying a proposal to end the required safety and emissions inspections for vehicles from the three newest model years. It simply killed the bill in a 7-5 vote (see today's story with reader comments).
Meanwhile, without dissent or discussion, the oversight committee approved other legislative proposals:
* Updating top DOT job titles. This measure would retire the venerable title of state highway admnistrator, and give a new title to the person holding that job (currently, Terry Gibson): chief engineer. DOT explains: We're way more than highways now. We're also bikes, trains, ferries, etc., etc.
DOT used to have somebody else called chief engineer as the top honcho for something else called operations. After a department reorganization intended to reduce layers of management, the old chief engineer was moved under the wing of the old highway adminstrator. Jon Nance, formerly chief engineer, now is addressed as ... deputy chief engineer. ... [MORE]