How they voted
The transportation budge passed Sunday in the House with a vote of 72-25 and in the Senate by a vote of 46-1. Here’s how legislators from Clark County voted:
Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver: Yes
Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver: Yes
Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver: No
Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver: Yes
Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas: No
Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center: Yes
Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver: Yes
Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver: No
Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver: Yes
Legislators on Sunday approved a transportation budget providing nearly $82 million for ongoing planning of the Columbia River Crossing project. That money came with some conditions, however, and state lawmakers still haven’t dedicated Washington’s $450 million share needed to build the bridge.
The no-new-taxes transportation budget requires a forensic audit of the $3.4 billion CRC project, which would replace the Interstate 5 Bridge and extend Portland’s light rail line into Vancouver. That audit must “investigate possible misuse of public funds,” according to the language of the bill.
Also, most of the $82 million for CRC planning would be inaccessible until the U.S. Coast Guard approves the project’s permit. If the permit is not approved, then that money must be used toward studying a new bridge design that meets the Coast Guard’s requirements.
Those requirements were amended to the budget by state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver.
“Not only does this budget take the right approach toward the CRC, it also won’t require an increase in the state gas tax,” Benton said in a statement. “For those two reasons in particular, I was glad to encourage my colleagues to support it.”