South Sound senators: Push to fund regional transportation projects will continue

The Legislature wrapped up its business today after passing a new two-year operating budget on Friday. Absent from the number of bills passed before lawmakers adjourned is a transportation-revenue package to fund two crucial transportation links, State Routes 167 and  509 in Pierce County and South King County.

Sens. Bruce Dammeier, Steve O’Ban, Randi Becker, and Joe Fain, all members of the Majority Coalition Caucus South Sound delegation, issued this statement today in response to the lack of support for the transportation package:

“We are disappointed that the Legislature could not agree upon a transportation package this year. We worked all session to find a solution that would fund the completion of both SR 167 and SR 509. 

“Both SR 167 and SR 509 are locally-supported projects that have gone unfunded and unfinished for decades. They are critical transportation links that would improve the Port of Tacoma’s viability and competitiveness, create jobs, and reduce traffic congestion. Together they represent the top economic development projects in the state.

“The transportation package that the House majority narrowly passed on the second attempt in the 11th hour of the second special session had several significant flaws that were not able to be resolved in the short time remaining.

“Our colleagues in the Senate majority stand behind us in support of these two major transportation projects. They recognize that SR 167 and SR 509 are the two most important transportation needs in our state right now.

“While we are extremely frustrated that the conversation is tabled for now, we are confident that we will reach agreement on the right package for our transportation infrastructure and our citizens.”