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Public Statements

Issue Position: Transportation

Issue Position

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Mary Margaret has been a champion for much needed transportation projects and our ferry system while making our state government efficient and accountable and creating jobs. She has worked to improve accountability in our state highway system and as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee has been a tireless advocate for our district, securing many local projects.

This past year Mary Margaret helped author a nearly $9 billion, bipartisan transportation budget that maintained current levels of service and that ensures uninterrupted work on current projects. The budget is expected to put 30,000 people to work over the next two years and sustains a total of over 43,000 jobs during these challenging economic times.

Locally, we were able to help businesses like the Nichols Bros. Shipyard where due to our investments we were able to create 100 local family wage jobs.

Highlights include:

* $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. Upon its completion, we will have built five new ferries after decades of relying on older ferries, and kept hundreds of well-paying jobs in Puget Sound shipyards, including our own Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in South Whidbey.

* $9.5 million to restore the Washington State Patrol's auto theft program and fund an additional trooper cadet class.

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

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

* $9 million to support transit service distributed to public transit agencies in Washington based on service hours, service miles and passenger trips provided.

* $6 million for safety improvements along SR 20.

* $2.3 million in continued funding for the Tri-County Connector.

* $896,000 to Island Transit to improve capacity and safe access to the Parker Road transit station.

* Mandates two ferry runs between Coupeville and Port Townsend during the peak travel season by the MV Chetzemoka and MV Salish.

* Allocates $58 million in federal funds for additional rail improvements along the Cascades Corridor north of Seattle to protect against landslides and improve service reliability.

* $15.1 million to replace the Pilchuck Creek bridge along SR 530.

* $3.7 million for safety improvements.

* $3.4 million to upgrade and maintain ferries.

* $3.4 million for SR 20 improvements from Harbor Vista Drive to NE Narrows Ave.

* $1 million to improve SR 20 from Race Road to Jacob's Road.

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