$9.9B transportation budget includes salmon, ferry funds

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democrats in the Washington House have released their two-year transportation budget proposal, with $9.9 billion in spending for projects including one new hybrid-electric ferry and conversion of two more.

The package, which the Democratic chairman of the House transportation committee unveiled Monday, is funded primarily with borrowing.

Along with hybrid ferries, it would also pay for a small portion of a larger culvert replacement project, ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 and expected to ultimately cost as much as $3 billion, to protect salmon habitat under tribal fishery rights.

The plan comes as part of the larger process of deciding the state’s funding priorities — and how it will raise money — over the next two years. Senate Democrats are expected to unveil their own transportation proposal later in the week.