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No Washington transportation deal until session convenes

Lawmakers have been struggling all year to reach agreement on a transportation plan.

The Associated Press

12/19/2013

OLYMPIA, Wash.  — Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington state legislative leaders say negotiations have failed to produce a new tax package for transportation projects.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Inslee and House and Senate transportation leaders said they'll take the issue up when lawmakers convene next month for the regular legislative session.

"Through 12 negotiating sessions we made progress on finding a compromise package of statewide transportation improvements. But today it has become clear this phase of the process has run its course and we have not reached an agreement," the statement said. "The next step in this process will be to continue this dialogue in the legislative process."

Lawmakers have been struggling all year to reach agreement on a transportation plan. Inslee first wanted one when the Legislature was in session earlier this year, but the Senate declined to take it up for a vote.

Last month, the governor sought an agreement when lawmakers held a special session to approve tax breaks for Boeing. There are a variety of components in the negotiations, but all sides are looking at a deal valued at roughly $10 billion and relying on a large increase in the state's gas tax — perhaps more than 10 cents per gallon.

Inslee had hoped to settle on a transportation package by the end of the year in order to better make a case that Boeing should build its new 777X line here.

Boeing has said it would like to see transportation infrastructure improvements. The company is currently soliciting bids from around the country for a location to build the 777X plane.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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JB Hunt