Inslee’s Optimism May Not Be Enough For Gas Tax Package

By Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he will continue to push for a gas tax package in the 60-day session that starts Monday. But a key transportation leader in the State Senate signaled Thursday that prospects for a deal may be dimming.

It’s been nearly a decade since the last gas tax increase passed in Washington. Now leaders on both sides of the aisle agree another multi-billion dollar roads and transit package is needed. But the details are the topic of heated debate in the state capitol. A dozen negotiating sessions this fall ended with promises to resume talks this month. Senate transportation co-chair Curtis King, a Republican, says the work will continue but:

Curtis King: “It’s like everything else it’s a matter of timing and there are a lot of things that would impact the ability to get a package out this session.”

Including the fact this is an election year. There are also concerns about voter trust given ongoing problems with two Seattle area mega projects: cost overruns on the 520 bridge replacement and a blockage that’s stopped progress on the tunnel along Seattle’s waterfront. For his part, Governor Inslee says he still has reasons to remain “hopeful.”

Currently Playing
Schedule Grid KPBX 91.1
Morning Edition
5:00am 9:00am
Schedule Grid KSFC 91.9
Morning Edition
6:00am 8:00am
Click for Spokane, Washington Forecast
SPR Family of Underwriters: