No transportation deal until Legislature convenes in Olympia

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington state legislative leaders say negotiations have failed to produce a new tax package for transportation projects.

In a statement released Wednesday, Inslee and House and Senate transportation leaders said they’ll take the issue up when lawmakers convene next month for the regular legislative session.

“Through 12 negotiating sessions we made progress on finding a compromise package of statewide transportation improvements. But today it has become clear this phase of the process has run its course and we have not reached an agreement,” the statement said.

Lawmakers have been struggling all year to reach agreement on a transportation plan. Inslee first wanted one when the Legislature was in session earlier this year, but the Senate declined to take it up for a vote.

Last month, Inslee sought an agreement when lawmakers held a special session to approve tax breaks for Boeing. There are a variety of components in the negotiations, but all sides are looking at a deal valued at roughly $10 billion and relying on a large increase in the state’s gas tax — perhaps more than 10 cents per gallon.

Inslee had hoped to settle on a package by the end of the year in order to better make a case that Boeing should build its new 777X line here. Boeing has said it would like to see transportation infrastructure improvements.

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