Orcutt responds to governor’s insistence on special session to pass gas-tax increase

In response to Governor Jay Inslee's comments about the possibility for another special session in November to pass a gas-tax increase, Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama and ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee, released the following statement:

“While I applaud the governor's engagement in finding viable solutions to Washington's transportation problems, I think he's jumping the gun with his talk of yet another special session this year.

“Calling a special session in November of this year, or any other month in 2013, would negate the vital information coming from a study currently being conducted to determine why similar transportation projects in Washington state cost up to two-and-a-half times as much as other states.  The difference between addressing our transportation issues in November during a special session that costs taxpayers more money, or January, when the Legislature is scheduled to be in session, is negligible.  Knowing why transportation projects cost more in Washington and how much we could reduce those costs would ensure that our taxpayers get the most bang for their buck.

“I strongly urge the governor and all elected officials to weigh the data that is forthcoming in January 2014 to determine what the major cost factors are in Washington's transportation construction system.  Once we have a handle on those cost-drivers, we can implement legislation to drive the costs down. Then we can determine how much projects should cost and develop a package accordingly. That will give taxpayers confidence they are putting their hard-earned money into a system that is efficient, responsible, and accountable.  Anything else is a frivolous expenditure on the backs of hardworking taxpayers.  We must fix the system before we tap taxpayers for additional dollars to fund it – make their tax dollars go further BEFORE the state goes further into their pockets.

“To reiterate: I'm not against addressing our state's transportation needs.  I'm for doing it in a fiscally-responsible way that treats taxpayer dollars like the precious resource they are.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov