Keeping Washington moving forward, Senate passes transpo budget

Sen. King speaks in favor of the transportation budget.Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, today expressed his thanks and gratitude to members of the Senate and its staff after the unanimous passage of the Senate’s 2013-15 transportation budget proposal. King, along with co-chair Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, and fellow budget writers Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, and Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn, spoke positively of the bipartisan atmosphere in which the budget was created.

“When a committee has co-chairs with the same authority, the potential for gridlock is increased,” King said, “but Senator Eide has been an extreme pleasure to work with, as have our vice chairs. It’s been an honor to work with these individuals, the other members of the transportation committee, and both partisan and non-partisan staff, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

The budget, in the form of Senate Bill 5024, would improve and preserve state highways, restore and maintain current ferry-service levels, and continue to meet the Legislature’s commitments to rural, regional and special needs mobility, and transit operating grants. It would also provide funding for Washington State Patrol troopers and upgrades to their mobile office platform and narrow-band communications.

“While this is without a doubt a bare-bones budget,” King said, “it lives within existing revenue, it addresses the state’s maintenance and preservation issues, and it includes reforms that will keep the state Department of Transportation efficient and effective at meeting the needs of the residents of Washington.”

The bipartisan Senate transportation budget now faces a series of potential speed bumps as it is considered by the House of Representatives.