WA transportation package hits roadblock

The chief proponent of a major Washington state transportation package says the bill is on life support and extremely unlikely to pass this year, but a spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee said Saturday that he still believed a compromise could be reached this weekend.

Democratic Rep. Judy Clibborn said Friday night that she was disappointed the $10 billion package did not have the support needed to get through the Legislature. Clibborn had been working on the issue for some two years but said it became clear over the past week that the Senate was not willing to work with her plan, which would have included a 10 1/2-cent increase in the gas tax.

“It’s time to let go,” said Clibborn, D-Mercer Island. “I think I did everything I could.”

After the governor’s office told her they were still working on the package, Clibborn later backed off that comment, saying she considered the measure on life support but would continue working on it. Negotiations were expected to continue Saturday.