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Hobbs appointment creates unknowns for transpo package

Hobbs appointment creates unknowns for transportation package

Sen. Steve Hobbs, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee was recently named as Secretary of State, replacing Kim Wyman who accepted the position of Senior Election Security Lead within the Biden Administration.  AGC has long supported Secretary Wyman and Sen. Hobbs and congratulates both on their new positions.

“Steve is a dedicated public servant. He has a strong national security perspective from his work in the Army and National Guard. His experience in cyber-security will be crucial as election systems around the country continue to face threats,” Gov. Inslee said upon making the appointment.  See the full press release here.

At press time, a new chair of the Transportation Committee had not been named by the Senate Democratic Caucus.  But negotiations – encouraged by AGC and led by Sen. Hobbs and House Transportation Chair Jake Fey – have been progressing over the last several weeks with a goal of finalizing a package for consideration by the Legislature when it convenes in 2022. It is unclear how Sen.  Hobbs’ departure will affect the negotiations.

Meanwhile, the enactment of the AGC of America-backed $1.2 billion federal infrastructure package, while not addressing all the state’s transportation needs, is certainly a welcome boost that could make development of a state package easier.

Under the federal package, Washington over the next five years will receive around $4.7 billion for highways and $605 million for bridges and another $1.8 billion in public transportation spending; $882 million to improve drinking-water infrastructure and safety; and $385 million for the state’s airports, including $228 million for Sea-Tac International Airport and $16 million for Paine Field in Snohomish County, according to estimates provided by the White House.

Also, Sound Transit will get around $380 million in dedicated funding for the regional light-rail system and will also compete for federal grants available in the measure, which contains around $550 billion in new spending. This is a “game-changer” according to Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff.

For more information contact AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood, 206.279.3755.

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