House OK’s Supplemental Transportation Budget

Lawmakers in the state House gave a near-unanimous thumbs-up Friday to a surprisingly robust supplemental transportation budget.  Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has the story.

The vote on the broadly bipartisan budget was 96 to one, with lawmakers from both parties praising it in glowing terms. Though hard hit by Initiative 976, the budget manages to fund critical work on roads, bridges, transit, ferries, and pedestrian and bike trail projects throughout the state. Lawmakers also set aside up to $35 million dollars toward the long-delayed dream of a new bridge to span the Columbia River between Vancouver and Portland. Representative Sharon Wylie, a Vancouver Democrat who is vice chair of the House Transportation Committee and a key advocate for a new bridge, spoke enthusiastically on the House floor before the vote.

WYLIE: “Transportation is about moving forward, and we are going to keep moving.  We have some very hard decisions and a lot more roll-up-the-sleeves work to do in the near future.  But for now we’re not going backwards.  We’re not staying still.  We are keeping Washington moving, and we did it together.”

The House and Senate, which put together its own version of a transportation spending plan, have two weeks left to iron out their differences and send an agreed-upon budget to the governor. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.