$16.1 billion investment will create jobs, reduce congestion
OLYMPIA – The House of Representatives has passed a package of bills making significant new investments in Washington’s transportation system, following a deal reached between House and Senate negotiators.
“House Democrats have been working for almost three years to pass a transportation package that will provide relief to commuters and help grow our economy,” said House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island). “With this legislation heading to the Governor’s desk, we are finally moving forward.”
The $16.1 billion package would create as many as 100,000 jobs across the state. In addition to funding much-needed infrastructure projects, it includes substantial new investments in maintenance and preservation, Washington State Ferries, and the Washington State Patrol.
The package also represents a landmark investment by the state in public transportation.
“We are putting nearly $1 billion into multimodal projects, more than any previous transportation revenue package,” noted Representative Jake Fey (D-Tacoma). “With the full $15 billion for Sound Transit and other local options for our communities, this is a huge step forward on transit and transportation choices.”
Legislators offered praise for improvements made in communities across Washington.
“These investments offer shovel-ready jobs and will help Eastern Washington farmers, manufacturers, and businesses get their products to market quickly and reliably,” said Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane). “Projects like completing the North Spokane Corridor are critical to strengthening our regional economy.”
House leaders emphasized that not only will the package modernize our transportation infrastructure, it won’t implement harmful policies that Democrats have opposed from the start of negotiations with the Senate.
“It doesn’t take money away from our kids while we continue working to meet our McCleary obligation. It doesn’t raid our environmental cleanup funds, punish workers, or shortchange our local governments,” said House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington).
“This is a good agreement that will make Washington a better place to live and work,” added Sullivan.
Additional details: https://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/budget/detail/2015/st1517p.asp