Tom Warne Report, 11 December 2013
OLYMPIA – As lawmakers in Washington continue to work on reaching a compromise on a transportation package, a Senate Committee conducted a public hearing on a $12.3 billion plan containing an 11 ½-cent gas tax hike and sends funding to road projects throughout the state.
Lawmakers have struggled to agree on a transportation plan all year. House Democrats approved a plan earlier this year that included a 10 ½-cent gas tax increase, but the Republican-dominated coalition in the Senate refused to bring the package up for a vote.
The recent plan proposed by the Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate involves no tolls on I-90, funds a new floating bridge on State Road 520 and puts money toward various other road projects. The plan would redirect sales tax money from transportation projects to a transportation fund instead of the general fund, and pulls money out of an environmental cleanup account. By comparison, the Democrats plan pays just a portion of the cost on the new floating bridge on Highway 520, and covers the rest with toll revenues.