Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville and Senate Republican leader, offered this reaction to this morning’s public statements by Gov. Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine concerning Washington’s transportation system:
“If the governor wants a new transportation package as badly as it sounds, he should stop making accusations about why the Legislature didn’t approve something in June and instead try to learn why people across our state – such as those I serve – would be averse to paying more in gas tax. Maybe Governor Inslee has yet to meet a tax increase he wouldn’t support, but in many parts of the state people have to drive significant distances to work or for other activities, which means more fuel and therefore more tax. None of us wants to pump new dollars into the state transportation department if we’re not going to see a clear benefit – or if it’s just going to be wasted through more mistakes on big-ticket projects, as we’ve seen with the replacement of the State Route 520 bridge.
“The governor has acknowledged we need to rethink how we do the business of transportation. I’ll be ready to talk with him about specific reforms after we go around the state, starting later this month, and talk with the people; let’s get a firm sense of what they expect from Washington’s transportation system and how they’d prefer to provide for it.”