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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013, 5:14 p.m.

Fate of transportation tax package lies in special session

A plan by House Democrats to hike the gas tax hike and car tab fees to fund new transportation projects is on hold until an expected special session, its chief architect said this afternoon.

"I have support to move the package but it just won't be before the special session," said Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Medina, who is chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee.

Clibborn said she has enough votes in the Democratic caucus to pass the $8.5 billion proposal in the House but there's too little time to win over the Republican-controlled Senate before the clock runs out on regular session Sunday night.

This package would funnel money into building new roads, bridges and ferries and aiding transit agencies throughout the state. Representatives of business, labor and environmental groups are united behind the bill.

"I think it is fine. There is no reason to panic," she said. "We're on the right trajectory to get it out."

Much less controversy surrounds a new two-year transportation budget for the state.

That's because there's no money for new projects in it. Clibborn said the House and Senate are agreed on a final spending plan and both chambers are expected to act on it in regular session.

Story tags » GovernmentStatePoliticsTaxes

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