OLYMPIA, Wash.—A bipartisan group of Washington state senators on Wednesday released a transportation budget proposal that both sides call “bare bones.”
The committee said despite financial constraints, their $8.7 billion proposal maintains funding for all of the state’s current transportation projects. The proposal puts $4.1 billion into maintaining and improving roads, banks $200 million in projected toll revenue toward the Alaskan Way Viaduct project and puts $1.2 billion toward servicing bonding debt. Funding would continue for the new 520 bridge, concrete work on I-5, 21 state troopers hired in 2012, and cover costs related to restoring and maintaining current ferry service levels and projects.
The plan does not include funding for several large projects, among them the Columbia River Crossing and the connection of state Route 167 and state Route 509 to Interstate 5, or any new projects.
The budget committee also couldn’t set aside funds to help King County Metro close a $75 million shortfall. Without the money, Metro will cancel at least 65 routes.
Democratic Sen. Tracy Eide of Federal Way and Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima are the co-chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee. King and Eide agreed that more money could be put into transportation this year, though King said any new taxes should have the support of voters.
If the $8.7 billion budget proposal is approved by the full Senate, it will move on to the House of Representatives.