News Releases

MURRAY: “We must ensure our country’s transportation infrastructure is ready to handle the demands of a 21st century economy, and we needed a long-term bill to do that.”
 
$400 million will go to ferry program over five years, ensuring more funding for Washington state
 
Bill includes provision to renew the Export-Import Bank, a critical agency for small businesses in Washington state

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded a newly-negotiated agreement on a five-year surface transportation bill that will increase funding for infrastructure and public transit programs in Washington state, giving the state, local communities, transit agencies, and employers the certainty they need to address long-standing transportation needs. The last transportation bill expired earlier this year, and Congress has been approving short-term extensions to keep programs going, with the latest patch set to expire this Friday, December 4th.

 

Senator Murray fought to ensure the final bill includes investments in ferry, transit capital improvement, and freight programs, all important to Washington state. This bill is the first long-term surface transportation authorization bill since 2005. Senator Murray has repeatedly called for a long-term bill, including earlier this year in May and June.

 

“This long-term bill is great news for Washington state families and communities who rely on safe and efficient transportation systems. For the next five years, this deal will increase investments, improve our ferry system, establish new programs to make our freight mobility safer and more efficient, and support new investments in public transit,” said Senator Murray. “We must ensure our country’s transportation infrastructure is ready to handle the demands of a 21st century economy, and we needed a long-term bill to do that. I will keep working to move our economy forward through important investments like this bill to create jobs and help the economy grow from the middle out for Washington state workers and communities.”

 

Votes on the bill are expected later this week, which would send the bill to the President. 

 

More details on how the legislation is important to Washington state below:

 

  • Increases funding levels for Washington state through Federal-Aid Highways and public transit programs.
  • Increases funding for and makes positive changes to the Federal Highway Administration’s ferry program, providing $400 million over five years, which will ensure more funding is available to Washington state.
  • Reinstates the bus and bus facilities competitive grant program and provides $1.5 billion over five years, which is critical to transit agencies across Washington state.
  • Establishes a new competitive grant program to support freight mobility projects on roads and rails, providing $4.5 billion over five years to make the movement of goods safer and more efficient.
  • Renews the Export-Import Bank. This agency provides loans to help U.S. companies do business overseas. In 2014, nearly 100 businesses in Washington state used the Export-Import Bank’s services, the majority of them small businesses.