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Issue Position: Transportation

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2012 Transportation Budget

A package of bills passed during the 2012 legislative session will reduce identity theft and fraud, keep ongoing transportation projects on schedule, restore the State Patrol auto theft program, fund a new class of troopers, and build a new 144-car ferry.

Chief among them is House Bill 2190, a supplemental transportation budget for 2011-13 that adds nearly $800 million to the $9 billion two-year budget period and puts 43,000 people to work across the state.

"This budget does a lot with a little, and we passed it on time during the regular legislative session," said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. "That just shows what you can do when you work in a true bipartisan fashion. We have strong relationships in transportation across the aisle and in the House, and it pays off for our state."

Haugen lauded the bipartisan work of the other members of her transportation budget cabinet: Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, the committee's vice chair; Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, the committee's ranking minority member; Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens; and Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn. Haugen also credited the cabinet's positive relationship with its House counterparts, notably Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, and Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, the ranking minority member in the House.

"This budget continues the important job creation role of transportation, creating or sustaining 43,000 jobs that are pumping money into ho2012 Transportation Budget

A package of bills passed during the 2012 legislative session will reduce identity theft and fraud, keep ongoing transportation projects on schedule, restore the State Patrol auto theft program, fund a new class of troopers, and build a new 144-car ferry.

Chief among them is House Bill 2190, a supplemental transportation budget for 2011-13 that adds nearly $800 million to the $9 billion two-year budget period and puts 43,000 people to work across the state.

"This budget does a lot with a little, and we passed it on time during the regular legislative session," said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. "That just shows what you can do when you work in a true bipartisan fashion. We have strong relationships in transportation across the aisle and in the House, and it pays off for our state."

Haugen lauded the bipartisan work of the other members of her transportation budget cabinet: Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, the committee's vice chair; Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, the committee's ranking minority member; Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens; and Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn. Haugen also credited the cabinet's positive relationship with its House counterparts, notably Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, and Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, the ranking minority member in the House.

"This budget continues the important job creation role of transportation, creating or sustaining 43,000 jobs that are pumping money into households and communities across our state," Haugen said. "We're creating jobs in the private sector and in the public sector in high-priority, public safety programs in the State Patrol."

Noting the realities of declining gas tax revenues in a difficult economy, Haugen said the supplemental budget will enable the state to keep state roads in shape, continue existing projects, and avoid severe cuts in services. "We've updated some fees and made a lot of little fixes that will get us through until the next session, when we can take a more ambitious look at addressing our declining gas tax revenues when we write the budget for the next biennium," she said.

The supplemental budget:

Fully appropriates the remaining bond authority for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement program, giving the state Department of Transportation (DOT) access to more favorable financing terms. This brings the funded project total to $2.6 billion.
Matches Oregon's commitment of $85.2 million for preliminary engineering on the Columbia River Crossing and ensures parity between the total value of the funding expended between the two states.
Directs $15 million in federal grants for the Interstate 5 Mobility Improvement project to improve the flow of traffic in the Joint Base Lewis McChord area.
Provides $1.5 million for a traffic management center in Seattle to support safety systems for SR 99 Deep Bore Tunnel operations.
Commits $40 million for design and right-of-way acquisition for a new I-405 intersection with SR 167.
Provides $1 million for safety, security, and public outreach activities regarding the use of liquid natural gas-powered vessels in the Washington state ferry fleet.
Provides $2.7 million to continue Target Zero DUI enforcement in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. This program targets areas and times of the day and night where impaired-driving-related crashes are most likely.
Provides $289,000 in state funds for a facial recognition matching system to help the state Department of Licensing crack down on identity fraud, reducing identity theft and fraudulent applications for state assistance.
Allocates revenue generated by updates in transportation fees to:
Provide $130 million to fund a second, 144-car capacity ferry. With this funding, shipyards can commence work in December 2012 with an expected in-service start of January 2015.

Provide $9.5 million to restore the WSP's auto theft program and fund an additional trooper cadet class;

Provide $7 million to reduce DOT's highway maintenance backlog and to meet urgent preservation needs on the state's roadways.

Provide $9 million to support transit service distributed to public transit agencies in Washington.

Provide $7 million for the purchase of fuel for ferry operations.

Provide $3.5 million for the Transportation Improvement Board to meet urgent preservation and storm water needs at the local level.

Provide $3.5 million for the County Road Administration Board for urgent preservation needs on county roads.

Provide $2.5 million for additional Safe Routes to Schools projects.

Provide $750,000 million for partnership projects managed by the Freight Mobility and Strategic Investment Board.

Make just over $32.5 million in new funding available over the next three years to advance design, preliminary engineering, or right-of-way acquisition for numerous state highway projects.

The full supplemental budget can be found online here.

Other key transportation legislation passed this session includes Senate Bill 6150, which directs the state Department of Licensing to use a facial recognition matching system for all driver's licenses, permits and identicards. The system enables DOL to identify an applicant who is registered under one or more other identities, block the issuance of the new card, and refer the case to law enforcement for investigation.

"When DOL ran a pilot project of this program, they caught eight-to-12 applicants with multiple identities a day," Haugen said. "They've uncovered cases where a single person had up to 35 different identities; this program will nip that in the bud when those people apply for the second ID."

Facial recognition programs are currently used by 31 other states. In addition to cracking down on identity theft, it helps deter the abuse of tax dollars by people who use false identities to fraudulently file for benefits from state agencies such as the state Department of Health and Social Services and Department of Labor & Industries.

Other transportation bills passed in the 2012 session include SB 6081, which creates a ferry surcharge to help fund the construction of new ferries; HB 2238, which address wetlands mitigation on transportation projects; and Senate Bill 6444, which governs tolling on state roads.useholds and communities across our state," Haugen said. "We're creating jobs in the private sector and in the public sector in high-priority, public safety programs in the State Patrol."

Noting the realities of declining gas tax revenues in a difficult economy, Haugen said the supplemental budget will enable the state to keep state roads in shape, continue existing projects, and avoid severe cuts in services. "We've updated some fees and made a lot of little fixes that will get us through until the next session, when we can take a more ambitious look at addressing our declining gas tax revenues when we write the budget for the next biennium," she said.

The supplemental budget:

*Fully appropriates the remaining bond authority for the SR 520 Bridge.

*Replacement program, giving the state Department of Transportation (DOT) access to more favorable financing terms. This brings the funded project total to $2.6 billion.

*Matches Oregon's commitment of $85.2 million for preliminary engineering on the Columbia River Crossing and ensures parity between the total value of the funding expended between the two states.

*Directs $15 million in federal grants for the Interstate 5 Mobility Improvement project to improve the flow of traffic in the Joint Base Lewis McChord area.

*Provides $1.5 million for a traffic management center in Seattle to support safety systems for SR 99 Deep Bore Tunnel operations.

*Commits $40 million for design and right-of-way acquisition for a new I-405 intersection with SR 167.

*Provides $1 million for safety, security, and public outreach activities regarding the use of liquid natural gas-powered vessels in the Washington state ferry fleet.

*Provides $2.7 million to continue Target Zero DUI enforcement in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. This program targets areas and times of the day and night where impaired-driving-related crashes are most likely.

*Provides $289,000 in state funds for a facial recognition matching system to help the state Department of Licensing crack down on identity fraud, reducing identity theft and fraudulent applications for state assistance.

*Allocates revenue generated by updates in transportation fees to:

Provide $130 million to fund a second, 144-car capacity ferry. With this funding, shipyards can commence work in December 2012 with an expected in-service start of January 2015.

Provide $9.5 million to restore the WSP's auto theft program and fund an additional trooper cadet class;

Provide $7 million to reduce DOT's highway maintenance backlog and to meet urgent preservation needs on the state's roadways.

Provide $9 million to support transit service distributed to public transit agencies in Washington.

Provide $7 million for the purchase of fuel for ferry operations.

Provide $3.5 million for the Transportation Improvement Board to meet urgent preservation and storm water needs at the local level.

Provide $3.5 million for the County Road Administration Board for urgent preservation needs on county roads.

Provide $2.5 million for additional Safe Routes to Schools projects.

Provide $750,000 million for partnership projects managed by the Freight Mobility and Strategic Investment Board.

Make just over $32.5 million in new funding available over the next three years to advance design, preliminary engineering, or right-of-way acquisition for numerous state highway projects.

The full supplemental budget can be found online here.

Other key transportation legislation passed this session includes Senate Bill 6150, which directs the state Department of Licensing to use a facial recognition matching system for all driver's licenses, permits and identicards. The system enables DOL to identify an applicant who is registered under one or more other identities, block the issuance of the new card, and refer the case to law enforcement for investigation.

"When DOL ran a pilot project of this program, they caught eight-to-12 applicants with multiple identities a day," Haugen said. "They've uncovered cases where a single person had up to 35 different identities; this program will nip that in the bud when those people apply for the second ID."

Facial recognition programs are currently used by 31 other states. In addition to cracking down on identity theft, it helps deter the abuse of tax dollars by people who use false identities to fraudulently file for benefits from state agencies such as the state Department of Health and Social Services and Department of Labor & Industries.

Other transportation bills passed in the 2012 session include SB 6081, which creates a ferry surcharge to help fund the construction of new ferries; HB 2238, which address wetlands mitigation on transportation projects; and Senate Bill 6444, which governs tolling on state roads.


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