King supports Senate’s passage of supplemental transportation budget

Sen. Curtis King, the Republican leader on the Senate Transportation Committee, says the supplemental state transportation budget passed today by the Senate prioritizes public safety and the maintenance and preservation of roads and highways.

“This transportation budget will help make our roads and highways safer to drive because it makes public safety a priority,” said King, R-Yakima. “Our supplemental budget, along with the 2023-25 state transportation budget enacted last year, provides enough funding to add 194 Washington State Patrol officers over the course of this two-year period. This year’s budget has funding to combat impaired driving, and it provides an additional $150 million for highway-preservation projects across Washington.”

The Senate today voted 48-1 to approve the supplemental transportation budget, which makes adjustments to the two-year budget approved by the Legislature in April 2023.

The Senate supplemental transportation budget spends $14.55 billion, including $8.38 billion in capital spending and $6.17 billion in operating spending. The $150 million in the supplemental budget for preservation projects raises the total amount in the two-year budget cycle for preservation to $1.073 billion.

The budget also provides $150 million in new funding for fish-passage culverts and $77.9 million in additional funding for the State Route 520 west end project in Seattle.

The Senate transportation budget funds several State Patrol projects:

  • $5.9 million for a third trooper class.
  • $4.7 million to restore the money saved when there were trooper vacancies.
  • $289,000 for additional toxicology-lab staffing.
  • $250,000 for staff and resources to improve compliance with ignition-interlock requirements.
  • $250,000 for expansion of licensing investigation unit activities.

The Senate spending plan also funds two public-safety projects for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission:

  • $2 million for a grant program to supplement DUI-enforcement activities.
  • $750,000 for an ignition-interlock dedicated compliance staff pilot program.

The House of Representatives approved its version of the state supplemental transportation budget this past Saturday. Transportation leaders in the Senate and House will meet to resolve differences and reach agreement on a compromise version of the budget.

The 2024 legislative session is scheduled to end March 7.