(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In the final step in the year-long appropriations process, President Bush last night approved the fiscal year 2002 Transportation Spending bill, authored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

The bill allocates millions of dollars to improve transportation infrastructure throughout Washington State, to ease traffic congestion in the Puget Sound Region, and to increase the budgets of the Coast Guard and the Office of Pipeline Safety.

"There is no greater threat to our region's prosperity than the crippling congestion that commuters face every day. This funding will improve the quality of life in our state by reducing our commutes and addressing critical safety concerns. This new law is a victory for Washington state," Senator Murray said.

As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Murray succeeded in securing a record $190 million for Washington state, nearly tripling last year's funding amount.

"These increased monies will help ease congestion by investing in public transportation, highways and other critical transportation infrastructure, Murray continued."