Legislative Update: The State’s Supplemental Transportation Budget + A Page in Our Office

Dear friends and neighbors, 

The 2024 legislative session concluded at 5:49 p.m. on March 7. The 60-day session was a whirlwind, and there was a lot to do in such a short period of time. Earlier this session, I mentioned to you that this year’s supplemental transportation budget would mean finding creative solutions to addressing increasing construction costs for our ferries, roads, and vital transportation projects. The past couple of weeks have been full of negotiations with our fellow lawmakers in the Senate; and we reached a consensus on the budget, which passed off the floors of both chambers on the last day of session.

The 2024 Supplemental Transportation Budget

The budget that passed is a $14.6 billion plan to prioritize the state’s public safety, preservation and maintenance of existing infrastructure and investments in the ferry system. It puts an additional $100 million into the preservation of roads and bridges statewide. An additional $30.8 million is invested in traffic safety measures, including $7.2 million for the Washington State Patrol (WSP), $2.5 million to combat impaired driving and $9.8 million to help curtail speeding. An additional $150 million is included toward fish barrier removal to help grow the salmon population and restore river ecosystems.    

The budget funds the state trooper longevity bonus bill that I introduced to retain troopers who would otherwise retire, and legislation from Rep. Brandy Donaghy, D-Mill Creek, House Transportation Committee Vice Chair, provides authorization for the use of traffic safety cameras in local communities.  

One key focus of the supplemental budget is investment in the ferry system. An additional $196 million goes directly toward efforts to build new hybrid electric ferries and projects related to strengthening Washington’s existing fleet. The bulk of that money goes toward five new hybrid-electric vessels and charging infrastructure.

This budget shows our commitment to maintaining promises to major transportation projects in the Connecting Washington and Move Ahead Washington transportation packages that cover the entire state of Washington. It allows for mega projects across the state to move forward including the Puget Sound Gateway Project right here in our own backyard. The budget also enhances spending for real reservation and maintenance in every corner of our state.

Curious to learn even more? Read more here and dive deeper by reviewing the state’s budgets at fiscal.wa.gov

Meet Manny Robertson-Stewart, A Page in My Office

During the last week of session, I sponsored Manny Robertson-Stewart, who served as a page in my office. Manny is a student at Summit Olympus and is the child of Onya Robertson and Marc Stewart of Tacoma. Pages assume a wide variety of responsibilities, from presenting the flags to distributing amendments on the House floor. Pages support the efficient operation of the Legislature while also receiving daily civics instruction, drafting their own bills, and participating in mock committee hearings. 

Stay in Touch!

I have now transitioned back to working in district on issues important to you. In a few weeks’ time, I will be joining my seatmates, Speaker Laurie Jinkins and Sen. Yasmin Trudeau at a telephone town hall. We are still sorting out the details, which will be sent to you as soon as we have them. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. 


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