OLYMPIA – Senators Cyrus Habib, Annette Cleveland and Pramila Jayapal, voted no on the Senate transportation proposal in the Senate Transportation Committee after repeated attempts to amend the proposal were defeated on party-line votes. Statements from the three members are below:
Sen. Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland:
“Our job as a legislature is to produce a transportation package that can pass the Senate, the House and the Governor’s desk. That is not this package. The responsible thing to do is to produce a clean bill, without ideological poison pills, that can actually pass and make these investment proposals real for Washingtonians. That’s what I’ve worked to do on the Transportation Committee and that’s what I’ll continue to do as this issue goes through further debate. Issues like transportation investment, job creation, expanding transit and protecting our environment are too important to move forward with a proposal that isn’t a balanced solution to our challenges.”
Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver:
“It is impossible for me to support a 16-year funding package that does not address my community’s most pressing need – replacement of the nearly 100 year old I-5 bridge between Vancouver and Portland. A great deal of effort has been put toward that goal through decades of work, unanimous approval by 39 stakeholders, approval by necessary local entities and funding commitments from the FTA and the State of Oregon. By the end of the proposed transportation package in 2031, the bridge will be over 114 years old and will be in even more serious need of repair and replacement.
“Now is the time to make good on our promise to fund what our legislature failed to do two years ago. While we delay addressing this situation our state, our region and my community waits. The blow that has been dealt to my community due to the failure to fund replacing the bridge will be felt for generations to come. Lack of replacement of the I-5 bridge means continued accidents, congestion and an inability to efficiently move freight and goods through the corridor and into our state. I am committed to working with my colleagues to address this critical need and move our state forward with a transportation package that best positions us for a stronger economy, cleaner environment and a healthier future.”
Sen. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle:
“I very much want to vote for a clean transportation package that puts people to work, fixes our roads and invests heavily in much-needed transit,” Jayapal said. “Several of us on the transportation committee offered the opportunity to remove unnecessary political provisions and send out a clean package. Unfortunately, all of our amendments were voted down. As passed, the proposal relies on funding sources that fall squarely onto the shoulders of working families, while exempting the state’s largest polluters from paying their fair share.
“It moves our state backward on options to address carbon pollution – which we know affects low income and communities of color disproportionately. It limits training opportunities for young construction workers, and erodes wage standards that put food on the table of Washington’s families. And this proposal diverts almost $1 billion from the general fund that could be used for other priorities like education. I would be delighted to vote for a clean funding package, but I can’t in good conscience vote in favor of a measure that forces a parent choose between healthy lungs for her child and transit that allows her to get to work.”