Goehner issues statement on governor’s veto of transportation funding study

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the transportation budget passed by the Legislature in the 2021 session. However, he vetoed a section of the bill that directs the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) to look at additional revenue options outside of the transportation budget, calling it an “unfunded study” even though it falls in line with the commission's roles and responsibilities. The WSTC's website reads:

“The Commission also conducts special studies and projects as directed by the Legislature.”

The section was the result of an amendment introduced by Rep. Keith Goehner, R-Dryden, during debate in the Washington State House of Representatives on the transportation spending plan. Goehner issued the following statement in response to the governor's veto:

“I am extremely disappointed by the governor's actions. The amendment was a proactive approach to having a more in-depth conversation about creating a resilient and sustainable transportation budget for the future. Our transportation funding is decreasing, while the maintenance and preservation of our roads is inadequate. This, at a time when the Legislature is prioritizing more non-motorized conveyances, transit and other functions that don't generate revenue, placing further strain on the transportation budget.

“The provision directed the commission to evaluate agencies, programs and activities funded in the transportation budget that might be more equitably paid for using general fund revenue or other funding sources. It ties into the very tasks the commission is already performing.

“Vetoing this provision calling it an 'unfunded study' is inexplicable. Additional funding is not needed for the commission to do a general study.

“My amendment had overwhelming bipartisan support. Since no transportation revenue package passed this session, this was a tool we could have used to identify other funding sources or opportunities to improve our transportation systems. It is time to think outside the box and be more efficient with taxpayer dollars.”


Washington State House Republican Communications