OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate today approved revenue sources for Move Ahead Washington; the 16-year transportation investment package sponsored by Transportation Committee Chair Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett). Senate Bill 5974 passed the chamber on a 29-20 vote Tuesday evening.
Move Ahead Washington includes $16.8 billion in investments for projects across the state, including historic funding for public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian safety, road preservation and maintenance, and climate mitigation.
“We are on the verge of a new day in Washington – one that puts people, our environment, and working families at the center of every policy decision we make,” said Liias. “We have shown that we can make needed investments in every corner of our state without raising gas taxes on families who continue to struggle from the effects of the pandemic.”
Environmental investments include fulfilling Washington’s obligation to replace fish passage barriers, increasing access to public transportation, significant electrification, and more. Ground-breaking investments in multimodal options will ensure transportation options are safe, accessible, and affordable for all Washingtonians.
Funding for the package comes from a variety of sources, including a one-time transfer from the state operating budget and an export fuel tax that puts a price on the cost of carbon without impacting everyday Washingtonians. Additional funding is available from the passage of the Climate Commitment Act in 2021 and the passage of the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The legislation includes significant funding to address the negative environmental, health, and economic impacts of past transportation policies, and to make all public transportation free for riders 18 and under. It also incorporates feedback from two years of community engagement to meet our current needs.
“With this package, we make investments to ensure those who are 18 and under will ride free on all public transit, build a high-speed rail corridor to further connect our state with our neighbors to the North and South, and move Washington ahead towards a transportation system ready for our future,” said Liias. “These investments will help everyone across Washington get where they need to go.”
The bill now awaits further action in the House. The 2022 session is scheduled to adjourn March 10.