Monday, March 5, 2012

Moving Washington Forward budget advances!

Investing in transportation infrastructure not only fuels thousands of jobs statewide, it also helps to avoid expensive delays in work that needs to be done. The supplemental budget the House just passed creates or sustains 43,000 jobs over the next biennium.
In the face of declining receipts from gas taxes and other transportation revenue streams, the Connect Washington Task Force recently predicted Washington would need roughly $21 billion over the next decade just to preserve the system and make strategic investments in the transportation backbone of our economy.
The $9.8 billion budget adds about $876 million to the two-year budget enacted last year. While Moving Washington Forward is not the long-term answer to financial challenges identified by Connect Washington, it will provide the short-term means to…well, to continue moving Washington forward.
In addition to investing in roads and highways at the state and local level, the supplemental budget invests funds to keep the ferry system afloat and fund a second 144-car ferry. There are also important investments in transit, freight mobility, the Washington State Patrol and Washington’s highly successful Safe Routes to Schools program.
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The Moving Washington Forward budget also looks to the future with $33 million in seed money for projects such as fixing I-5 congestion in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord area. The seed money will enable shovels to hit the ground quickly once future revenue sources for major projects have been agreed upon.
All told, the Moving Washington Forward budget that House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn led through the House will mean more jobs today, more jobs tomorrow, and a good start on solving transportation problems in every corner of the state.

To read this post in Spanish, click here.