Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last week, Democrats introduced the Move Ahead WA transportation package. This 16-year, almost $17 billion package creates a sustainable, achievable future for our transportation sector.
Move Ahead Washington delivers historic investments to preserve our roads, reduce carbon emissions, and provide safe, accessible, and affordable options to get around.
House Democrats hosted over 90 listening sessions to hear the top transportation priorities from communities across the state. This proposal addresses the concerns we heard and reflects our focus on meeting the needs of every community in WA.
Here in the 45th District, the package will fund several priority projects including trestle widening on State Route 202 in Woodinville and completion of the Bellevue gap along the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.
Today’s challenges in transportation
Inadequate funding for aging infrastructure means local maintenance projects have stalled. As a result, people are spending more to fix the wear and tear on their cars caused by deteriorating roads. Meanwhile, commuters sit in traffic because they don’t have other options to reach their destinations.
Tomorrow’s generations are counting on us to take meaningful action to address climate change. Today, communities of color, low-income, and rural communities bear the brunt of traffic, pollution, and displacement caused by previous transportation policies. Communities of color have also been historically excluded from the family-wage jobs associated with transportation construction.
What our package does differently to serve Washingtonians
Preserving existing infrastructure
Move Ahead Washington invests an unprecedented $3 billion to fix our existing infrastructure. By honoring our responsibility to complete projects we’ve started, we’re also creating good, family-wage construction jobs to make repairs across the state.
Taking bold action to reduce carbon emissions
Our package takes decisive action against climate change by putting $5.4 billion toward electrification and the expansion of affordable, accessible options to get from point A to point B. Our community deserves diverse choices so we can use what works for us—whether walking, rolling, driving, or riding—while reducing our carbon footprint.
Addressing harm caused by past transportation decisions
Move Ahead Washington re-prioritizes disinvested neighborhoods and renews our moral obligation to do better for marginalized, rural, and low-income communities. We’re funding projects that expand reliable transit service, create bike and pedestrian routes, and increase opportunities for good jobs in the transportation sector. Our package also directs 35% of funds from the Climate Commitment Act into projects serving disinvested neighborhoods and communities often left out of the policymaking process.
Funding our investments
This proposal does not include a gas tax. This is a people-oriented proposal that doesn’t pass costs onto working families. Especially after the economic hardships of the pandemic, it was important that we fund these investments without an immediate gas tax. Instead, we are meeting our state’s needs with a one-time transfer from the state’s general fund, federal dollars from the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, and investments from the Climate Commitment Act.
Doulas for All
Last week on the House floor I voted for HB 1881 to help make birth doulas accessible for more people. A birth doula is a non-medical birth coach who is trained to provide support to birthing persons during labor, birth, and the postpartum period.
Having an advocate present strengthens birth outcomes and decreases the need for medical intervention, including a significant reduction in risk of cesarean births. These benefits should be available for everyone, not only the people who can pay out of pocket. 52% of births in Washington state are covered by Medicaid. Establishing a doula certification would allow Medicaid to cover birth doula services and would ensure that the benefits of a doula are available for all.
Childbirth is challenging under the best of circumstances. Having someone there to help you navigate your options, to support you through childbirth, and to help you adjust to life with a new baby, is life-changing. I’m proud to support this legislation and hope that the Senate moves quickly to pass the bill.
Save the Date: Virtual Town Hall
Join us on Thursday, February 24th for a Virtual Town Hall. I will be joining Sen. Manka Dhingra and Rep. Larry Springer for a 45th District Virtual Town Hall. The town hall will be streamed live to the House Democrats’ Facebook page at 7:00 PM.
What: 45th Legislative District Virtual Town Hall
When: Thursday, February 24th at 7:00 PM
Where: Streaming live on the following pages:
You can submit questions live during the town hall in the comment section or in advance at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/45thDistrict.
Please note, you do not need a Facebook or Twitter account to view the livestream and the video will be saved on YouTube. Please note the livestream will not appear on most of the platforms until the event begins.
As always, please reach out if you have questions, comments, or ideas.
All best wishes,
Representative, 45th District
Washington State Legislature