The Washington State Senate transportation package passed on Monday and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. (TRT: 52) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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The Washington State Senate on Monday approved a 16 year, $15 billion dollar transportation package that includes an 11.7 cent gas tax and other vehicle fees. Despite passage of the package many senators, including Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam, expressed his concerns with the proposal.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam: (TRT: 28) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “The point is that this bill has been touted as being a jobs bill and we have a lot of congestion in Puget Sound and this will create a lot of jobs in Puget Sound. But for people that represent districts that still have close to the highest unemployment in the state, I don’t see this bill bringing a lot of jobs into our area. It seems to me like it would do better to turn Bertha loose and drill a couple tunnels out into the hinterlands and actually start to put some economic development out in our rural areas.”

The transportation package will now go to the House of Representatives for their consideration.

Nicole Vukonich reporting in Olympia.