Gov. Inslee celebrated passage of the $17 billion, 16-year transportation package in bill signings Friday. On his Medium page, the governor links the package to his climate change priorities.
Legislators this session approved a 16-year “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package unlike any other in the state’s history. It lays the foundation for a massive shift from simply building more lanes to moving people via cleaner, more efficient transportation options.
“Transportation is our state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no way to talk about climate change without talking about transportation,” Inslee said during the Friday morning signing event for the package. “This package will move us away from the transportation system our grand-parents imagined and towards the transportation system our grand-children dream of.”
A key to the new package? The state’s new cap-and-invest program, created after passage of Inslee’s Climate Commitment Act last year. Inslee first introduced such a policy to the Legislature in 2014.
Much more at the link. The Associated Press reported on the signing ceremonies.
A nearly $17 billion, 16-year transportation revenue package that will pay for a variety of projects across the state, including building four new hybrid electric ferries, was signed Friday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Inslee split his signing ceremonies between two cities, starting the morning at the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal to sign the revenue portion of the package. Later in the afternoon, he [headed] to Tacoma to sign the bill that covers the projects paid for by the package.
The AP points out the funding mix and key investments.
The plan gets $5.4 billion of its funding from a carbon pricing program signed into law last year that requires the state’s largest emitters, like refineries, to purchase credits for allowed emissions if they exceed a cap set by regulators. The rest comes from several other sources, including federal infrastructure money, funding from the state budget, and higher fees on enhanced licenses and license plates.
In addition to the new ferries, it electrifies two existing ferries and provides funding for more walking and biking corridors, highway maintenance and fulfilling the state’s court-ordered obligation to replace fish passage culverts. Funding is also provided to ensure that those age 18 and younger can ride for free on public transportation, including the state’s ferries and Amtrak.
It also pays for the state’s share of the cost — $1 billion — to replace the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River that connects Washington and Oregon.
Additional coverage in The Olympian and The Spokesman-Review.