He may not want us to say it, but that's what the story is, Harry Esteve reports in the Oregonian.
Back in May:
"House Democrats are proposing a gas tax increase to make drivers feel more pain at the pump," it said. House Minority Leader Wayne Scott sounded scandalized.
"Oregon's average gas price is the third highest in the nation," his quote read. "Now Democrats want working families and small businesses to pay even more."
The release was widely ignored. Two Democrats had indeed sponsored a gas tax bill, but it went nowhere. Big deal.
A group of seven lawmakers from both parties has been meeting about a possible transportation package. Oregon's highways are getting more and more bogged down with traffic, which makes people grumpy and late for work and hurts the economy by tying up trucks and commerce. ...
But at the latest meeting, another money-raising idea cropped up. Increasing gas taxes somewhere north of 20 cents a gallon could raise close to $800 million a year, which is what state transportation officials say they need to keep up. ...
No, what surprised people at the meeting was the source of the latest gas tax suggestion.
"Rep. Scott was the one who asked that it be included," said House Majority Leader Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, one of the participants. ...
"You've got to put this in context," Scott said, when asked about his apparent mood switch. "Please don't say, 'Wayne Scott wants a gas tax increase.' "
So, is it going to happen?
Hunt said his preference is the increased fee approach. But the deal he made with Scott was, if House Republicans put up 17 votes, Democrats would supply the remaining 19 needed to pass a revenue-raising bill. ...
Scott said he took the proposal to his caucus. No dice. How about the fee increase proposal? Ditto.
But, hey, it's the final weeks of the session. And, as lawmakers prove with each passing day, anything's possible.