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Washington leaders hope to get piece of $2 trillion funding for infrastructure, climate efforts

Washington Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar said we should spend twice as much as we currently do on our transportation infrastructure statewide.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a $2 trillion plan Wednesday afternoon to boost infrastructure, create more jobs and fight climate change.

Washington state leaders hope the plan will bring more funding to keep Washingtonians safer and move residents into a greener future.

"We should be investing almost $2 billion a year in preserving and maintaining our roads, our bridges, our ferry boats, our terminals, our Amtrak Cascade trains," said Washington Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. "We're spending less than $1 billion a year."

Millar stressed it is important to keep Washingtonians safe but also said more funding is needed to make transportation systems more resilient in the face of climate change.

"Let's electrify everything,” said Millar. “It makes good economic sense, it makes great climate sense, it makes good equity sense. We are creating an electric vehicle highway system. You can get your car charged all up and down I-5 and up and down I-90."

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"Putting those facilities in place of something we've been investing in, and with this new package, we hope to have additional resources to invest," Millar continued.

The White House plans to fund the new plan with a corporate tax hike, something Millar anticipates may divide lawmakers.

"What this bill is going to do is provide the resources that, in Washington state's case, plug directly into programs we already have," said Millar.

"These investments will pay a return in terms of addressing climate change, in terms of addressing the resilience of our economy, and in terms of addressing the needs of working families," he said.