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State Senate leaders decline $10B transportation plan


Leaders in the Washington state Senate are declining to vote on a $10 billion Washington state transportation package that has passed the House.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom said Saturday that he and his colleagues are unified in their opposition to the plan this session. He says they plan to work over the coming months to help develop a proposal that lawmakers could consider next year.

Tom says improved infrastructure is important for the state's economic vitality but that lawmakers first need to address policy changes for transportation projects, such as a new approach to the environmental review process.

The failure of the plan came despite a lobbying effort from Gov. Jay Inslee, who had hoped the bill would be approved this weekend.

The packaged approved by the House would have included a 10 1/2-cent increase in the gas tax in order to pay for a series of large projects.