Statements from Reps. Barbara Bailey and Norma Smith on state transportation budget
Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor:
“The House transportation budget is neither fully funded nor forward-looking, and it represents broken promises to the public. It is also focused on mega-projects in King County at a time when critical transportation needs around the state are not being met.
“While I support the plan to build new ferries, the funding for these vessels is uncertain. In 2003, I voted to build and fund four new ferries to replace our state’s Steel Electrics. Unfortunately, this project was mismanaged and fell apart. It is one thing to say we are going to build new ferries, and another to fully fund and execute the plan.
“Simply spending more tax dollars is not enough –- we need accountability, to find efficiencies and achieve real results. We’ve provided many solutions, but unfortunately they were rejected by the majority party.
“We still have time. I’m hopeful that in the next two weeks of the legislative session transportation leaders can reset negotiations and finalize a budget that is responsible and accountable.”
Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton:
“Today’s budget is the beginning of the process. While I appreciate the effort made on ferries, the broader transportation package failed to deliver the best value for the taxpayers of Washington. It leaves ferry construction unfunded after 2015 and left more than $1 billion on the table in terms of a solution we proposed to free up money for other statewide projects promised in the 9.5-cent gas tax package.
“We have a lot of work left to do. I will continue to advocate for keeping the transportation promises made in 2003, 2005 and today.”
###Washington State House Republican Communications