Wednesday, March 9, 2016
House Passes Compromise Supplemental Transportation Budget
New investments in maintenance, I-405, and State Patrol officers
OLYMPIA – With a bipartisan 86-10 vote, the House of Representatives has approved the 2016 supplemental transportation budget. The negotiated compromise with the Senate makes several important new investments in Washington’s transportation system.
The $8.6 billion budget uses new federal funding and dividends from a stronger bond market to provide additional funding for maintenance and preservation, congestion and toll relief for I-405 and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and compensation increases to address recruitment and retention among Washington State Patrol officers.
“This budget makes smart investments that will help reduce traffic, make our roadways safer, and expand the middle class,” said Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), chair of the House Transportation Committee.
Including baseline raises, State Patrol officers will see a 10 percent salary increase this year. The compromise supplemental budget includes $5 million for WSP compensation. Although less than the $16 million included in the House proposal, House Democrats were able to negotiate funding for additional raises reached through collective bargaining in 2017.
“This is a great step forward in addressing the staffing crises at the Washington State Patrol,” said Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma), a Transportation Committee vice chair. “We are taking action to support the officers who keep our roadways safe, both now and in the future.”
The supplemental transportation budget now heads to the Governor’s desk.