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  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gregoire announces appointments to Connecting Washington Task Force

For Immediate Release: July 5, 2011

Gov. Chris Gregoire announced today the members of the “Connecting Washington Task Force,” who are charged with developing a 10-year investing and funding plan for the state’s transportation system and presenting it to the 2012 Legislature. The Connecting Washington Task Force will review statewide transportation needs, recommend the most promising projects for investment and identify potential revenue sources.

“The demands on transit, roads and ferries will grow as our population grows and as businesses climb out of this recession,” Gregoire said. “Major transportation projects must be built, our ferry system must be preserved for future generations and the current transportation system must be maintained. Connecting Washington will give the Legislature options to improve and maintain our transportation system and help keep our communities and businesses moving.”

Connecting Washington’s members will consist of locally elected officials and representatives from tribes, organized labor, trade associations and businesses, along with transit, consumer and environmental advocates. It will also include the chairs and ranking minority members of the House and Senate Transportation Committees, the Secretary of Transportation and Chair of the State Transportation Commission. Gregoire will chair the group and help lead its meetings, which will begin this month and occur periodically throughout the summer and fall.

The 2003 and 2005 revenue packages have funded hundreds of transportation projects across the state – the vast majority of which will be under contract or completed by the 2011–13 biennium’s end. To date, more than 90 percent of these projects have been completed on time and 92 percent on or under budget. But after the 2013–15 biennium, more than 90 percent of the two transportation packages’ proceeds will cover debt service. The transportation system continues to have additional needs.

Additional resources are necessary to finish major projects, like replacing the State Route 520 bridge and Interstate 5 Columbia River Crossing and building the North Spokane corridor. With no money left to transfer into the ferry system from other transportation accounts, more resources are necessary to fill the system’s 10-year, $1 billion budget hole and to cover the cost to replace the aging fleet. As city and county populations continue to increase, more mass transit will be necessary to accommodate additional riders and to expand routes. And additional resources will be necessary to maintain current state and local highways, roads and bridges.

The following individuals will serve on Connecting Washington:

• Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, Chair, Senate Transportation Committee
• Senator Curtis King, Ranking Minority Member, Senate Transportation Committee
• Representative Judy Clibborn, Chair, House Transportation Committee
• Representative Mike Armstrong, Ranking Minority Member, House Transportation Committee
• Leo Bowman, Benton County Commissioner
• Charlotte Garrido, Kitsap County Commissioner
• Fred Jarrett, Deputy King County Executive
• Paul Roberts, Everett City Councilmember
• Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Councilmember
• Tom Trulove, Mayor of Cheney
• Bill Bryant, Port of Seattle Commissioner
• Mike Frederickson, Port of Walla Walla Commissioner
• Paula Hammond, Secretary, Department of Transportation
• Richard Ford, Chair, Transportation Commission
• Bob Adams, Vice President, Guy F. Atkinson Construction
• Terry Brewer, Executive Director, Grant County Economic Development Council
• Rodney Brown, Board Chair, Washington Environmental Council
• David Johnson, Executive Secretary, Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council
• Jeff Johnson, President, Washington State Labor Council
• E. Susan Meyer, CEO, Spokane Transit/Incoming President of the Washington Transit Association
• Kirk Nelson, President and CEO, AAA Washington
• Laura Peterson, Vice President for State and Local Government Relations, Northwest Region, The Boeing Company
• Nick Rocchi, Managing Director Pacific Northwest District, Federal Express
• Tim Schauer, Chair-Elect, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
• DeLee Shoemaker, State Government Affairs Director, Microsoft Corporation
• Stan Vander Pole, President and CEO, Peninsula Truck Lines
• Barbara Wright, Board Member, Transportation Choices Coalition

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