By Jerry Cornfield
Senate transportation leaders say they intend to release their budget proposal Wednesday morning.
The rollout is penciled in for 9 a.m., according to Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, who are the co-chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Neither expects their bipartisan proposal to make waves because there are not a lot of new or extra dollars to spend on projects. Most of what’s coming in from the gas tax and fees is already required to pay off bonds, maintain existing roads, highways and bridges and operate the Washington State Patrol and Washington State Ferries.
House Democrats are slated to release their transportation budget Thursday. They too are not likely to propose funding any major new projects.
The big news will come next week when House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn goes public with a revamped plan for raising money for transportation.
Clibborn told me Monday that it’s about a third smaller than the $9.8 billion package she released in February. That’s because political opposition drove her to jettison a proposed motor vehicle excise tax, a fee on sales of bikes worth $500 or more and an increase in the hazardous substance tax.
She said she’s still working on how the money will be spent. See how she originally wanted to spend the money here.