Senate approves budget, fee increases nixed

The 30-day special session ended with a budget that did not include proposed fee increases that would help cover shortfalls in transportation budgets, including WSF’s.

Republicans backed small fee increases on behalf of ferries, the State Patrol and local government but saw even the scaled-back proposal as too large, [Rep. Mike Armstrong of Wenatchee] said, especially given that much of the revenue is spent on different activities than it is collected from.

“It all of a sudden starts looking like more of a tax than a fee increase,” Armstrong said.

Opposition from Republicans in the Senate looked like it might kill the measure. Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, was disappointed. She said the measure was needed to tide the state over until a 2012, when she hopes voters will approve new transportation taxes.

“It’s really just a little bit of bridge money to get us through this huge problem we’ve got facing us,” she said.

Read the full story at The Olympian: Senate OKs $32.2 billion state budget

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