Washington state Senate highways panel on March 28 released a 10-year,
$4.1 billion plan that includes a 5-cent-a-gallon fuel tax increase, according
to local media.
outlined by five Republicans and four Democrats, sets up a showdown with
the Democratic-controlled House, which wants less emphasis on roads and
more money for mass transit and other transportation choices, KIRO television
in Seattle reported.
package has the highest price tag of any proposed to date. Last week, House
Democrats revealed a $2.6 billion plan that includes a 3-cent fuel tax
hike and a 15 percent trucking fee increase.
Locke has released his own plan as a possible compromise. It offers a 4-cent
fuel tax hike as part of a 10-year, $3.2 billion transportation fix and
a 15 percent surcharge for trucks and motor homes.
proposals are scaled-down versions of Referendum 51, the 9-cent fuel tax
increase initiative that voters resoundingly defeated in November.
the governor has quietly pressured the Legislature to pass transportation-efficiency
and reform bills, followed by a scaled-back revenue plan, the Seattle
Times reported. Locke is opposing general tax increases to balance
the state operating budget but is willing to back transportation taxes.
and House leaders are expected to negotiate as early as this week to find
a common ground. Lawmakers say they hope to pass a package in Olympia,
rather than calling for a voter referendum, as the Legislature did last