Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson issued the statement below following today’s action by the Senate Transportation Committee’s action to pass a Transportation plan and accompanying policy bills:

“Today’s Committee actions showed that Senate Democrats want a transportation package to get Washington moving.  However, we do not believe that transportation infrastructure is more important than funding our children’s education.  The Senate Republicans insisted today on transferring a billion dollars from education to asphalt despite our objections.

“Additionally this package requires a reduction in wages and apprenticeships for working families.  As we move Washington forward, we should not be moving hard working families backward.

“We would prefer to see a transportation package free of ideology and one that is not paid for at the expense of our children’s future. With this in mind, Democrats on the Committee introduced a proposal with identical revenue and spending measures, but without unrelated and divisive policies. Unfortunately Senate Republicans voted in lockstep in favor of ideology over infrastructure and jobs.

“The transportation plan and policy bills which accompany it, regretfully, roll back standards that protect working people, the environment and will make solving the K-12 puzzle even more difficult.

“We all agree that transportation improvements are critical to every corner of our state, but this is an issue that can be solved without sacrificing our state’s values.

“We look forward to working with Republicans to produce a package which the majority of Democrats can support and one that benefits all Washingtonians.”