News Releases

Murray Warns that the President’s Budget will Force Moses Lake, Ephrata to Pay for Essential Air Service

Mar 09 2004

Senator fights to keep investments, jobs in Moses Lake, Ephrata

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) warned U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta that she will fight the President’s transportation budget because it fails to meet the needs of Washington’s families and the economy.

Murray specifically cited the Administration’s cuts to the Essential Air Service Program which will affect the communities of Ephrata and Moses Lake.

The President’s fiscal year 2005 budget calls for significant cuts to the Essential Air Service (EAS) Program which ensures affordable air service for rural communities. These cuts would force Ephrata and Moses Lake to come up with a 25 percent match, or $336,139 in order to remain part of the EAS.

“Cutting funds to rural transportation means cutting jobs in communities that need them most,” Senator Murray said. “For me, a budget should be about jobs, our economy and our productivity. I cannot and will not agree with a budget that cuts our smaller communities out of economic growth.”

Murray, the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Transportation Appropriations subcommittee, has led the fight in the Senate to increase transportation funding for Washington state. Last year (FY 2004), Murray secured a record $245 million for transportation projects across Washington in addition to more than $600 million in Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration grants to Washington state. This funding included $2 million for an Intermodal Transload Facility in Quincy.