House Passes Biennial Transportation Budget

With a bipartisan 74-20 vote, the House of Representatives passed a 2015-17 transportation budget that has been agreed to by the Senate. The maintenance level budget continues the work already in progress on projects across the state.

“This budget is about keeping the promises that we made to voters when they approved the last two gas tax increases,” said House Transportation Committee Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island). “Almost 90 percent of projects are now complete, and this budget moves us forward by continuing work on the few that remain.”

The $7.6 billion budget is about $800 million less than last biennium’s $8.4 billion, largely due to less being spent on infrastructure as projects are completed. Although there is less revenue overall, fewer ongoing projects allows for a handful of small new investments.

“Increases in bridge maintenance and preservation funding, compensation for Washington State Ferries and State Patrol, and regional mobility grants – these are things we can be proud of in this budget,” noted Transportation Vice-Chair Jake Fey (D-Tacoma).

The budget bill, HB 1299, now heads to the Senate for approval.