Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia, ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee, released the following statement on the Democrats’ proposed supplemental transportation budget:
“Unlike the proposed supplemental operating budget, our budget cabinet was tasked with creating a supplemental budget currently operating at a deficit. This posed some challenges that thankfully we were able to overcome.
“Through a bipartisan effort, we were able to prioritize special needs transportation, ensure projects that were paused by the governor were unpaused, and make a minimal impact to preservation and maintenance.
“This budget successfully came together because we worked project by project to make up the difference caused by the shortfall of I-976.
“In moving forward, the transportation budget needs to have access to the surging revenue that created a $2.4 billion surplus to the General Fund. We believe this needs to be accomplished through a holistic approach so new revenue sources – such as a new gas tax or pay-per-miles tax – aren’t proposed.
“Throughout the proactive budgeting process, Republicans asked to honor the will of the voters by seeking to implement $30 car tabs. Even though we couldn’t carry out all of the solutions we wanted, I want to thank the House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Fey for keeping our priorities in mind as part of the budgeting process.”