$10 Billion Approved for Highway Funding in Washington State

Despite the drastic funding limitation imposed by Washington's voter-approved Initiative 976, the state found a way to fund $10.4 billion in (mostly highway) transportation projects.

1 minute read

March 19, 2020, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Interstate 5

casadaphoto / Shutterstock

On March 13, Doug Trumm reported about the approval of a $10.4 billion transportation funding package approved by the Washington State Legislature.

According to Trumm, the funding mostly focuses on highway projects, and responds to the post-Initiative 976 era in Washington.

By capping state car tabs and licensing fees at $30, I-976 decimated the budgets of local transportation agencies and the state department alike. That said, an appeal brought by a number of those agencies did win an injunction delaying those cuts until the constitutionality question is answered–and it may end up being the Washington Supreme Court that gets the last word. 

A little "budget magic" managed to free the $10.4 billion in transportation funding, according to the article. Senator Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, is pushing for a new source of revenue to fund what Trumm characterizes as "pet highway projects."

"The wave of highway projects let loose yesterday was headlined by another billion-plus project: the North Spokane Corridor, creating an US Route 395 freeway bypass of Spokane," according to Trumm.

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