Move Ahead Washington plan takes a completely new approach to transportation in Washington state

Move Ahead Washington plan takes a completely new approach to transportation in Washington state

On Friday at events in Mukilteo and Tacoma, Gov. Jay Inslee signed several climate and clean energy jobs bills, including the historic new 16-year Move Ahead Washington transportation package.

The governor was joined in Mukilteo by Tulalip Tribes Vice Chair-elect Misty Napeahi, Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Roger Millar, Sen. Marko Liias, Rep. Jake Fey, Sen. Joe Nguyen, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Rep. Alex Ramel, and Rep. Davina Duerr.

In Tacoma, Inslee was joined by Chairman of the Puyallup Tribe Bill Sterud, Pierce Transit CEO Mike Griffus, Sen. Marko Liias, Rep. Jake Fey, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.

The Move Ahead Washington transportation package is unlike any other in the state's history. It lays the foundation for a massive shift from simply building more lanes to moving people via cleaner, more efficient transportation options.

"Transportation is our state's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no way to talk about climate change without talking about transportation," Inslee said during the Friday morning signing event. "This package will move us away from the transportation system our grand-parents imagined and towards the transportation system our grand-children dream of."

The Move Ahead Washington package focuses an increased share of funding on maintenance and preservation of existing roads and bridges than prior packages, and includes major projects such as the replacement of the I-5 bridge across the Columbia River. But the clear distinction is how it directs a significant share of investments towards climate and clean transportation. These investments are possible thanks to revenue from the state's cap-and-invest program that places a price on carbon pollution.

The package includes funding for four new hybrid-electric ferries, tens of thousands of new EV charging stations, 25 transit electrification projects across the state, and free fares for passengers 18 and younger on all public transportation.

The package also includes a significant infusion of funding for removing hundreds of fish passage barriers along state highways that block approximately 650 miles of habitat for salmon and steelhead. This work is important to meeting the state's salmon recovery commitment to Tribes.

Move Ahead Washington will support an estimated 2,390 construction and ferries jobs annually.

Inslee also signed bills on Friday to reduce methane emissions from landfills, expand the state's clean buildings policy, and improve the state's ability to recruit clean energy projects with strong labor standards.

Gun Violence Prevention and K12 Education

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills on Wednesday aimed at reducing gun violence. Attorney General Bob Ferguson, legislators, advocates, survivors and families who have experienced gun violence joined the governor at the state capitol to celebrate the bills and honor the lives of loved ones who have been killed. Inslee signed legislation that restricts firearms in certain locations such as school board meetings and election offices, restricts the assembly, sale or possession of untraceable homemade ghost guns, and bans large capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Such weapons are frequently used in mass shooting events.

Inslee has been a stalwart proponent of reducing gun violence. In 2016 he issued an executive order directing the state to take a public health approach to prevention efforts. Since then, Washington state has taken several important actions including improved background checks, measures to prevent suicide, extreme risk protections orders, and a ban on bump stocks. The state's Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention launched last year and is helping lead statewide coordination of data-sharing, analysis and implementation of firearm safety strategies.

Also on Wednesday, Inslee signed bills that will provide more staff in schools to support students; more opportunities for outdoor learning; more language access; better student nutrition; better resilience for school buildings for earthquakes and tsunamis; stabilized enrollments; and more educators to fill open roles. The governor was joined by state education leaders, representatives, and students at this virtual signing event.

WaTech Launches Cybersecurity Resources
to Help Protect Individuals and Small Businesses

Cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and bad actors frequently take advantage of conflicts like the one in Ukraine to ramp up disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks. WaTech's Office of Cybersecurity has compiled several resources to help individuals and small businesses protect themselves online.

Here are four things you can do:

  1. Implement multi-factor authentication on your accounts and make it 99% less likely you'll get hacked.
  2. Update your software. In fact, turn on automatic updates.
  3. Think before you click. More than 90 percent of successful cyber-attacks start with a phishing email.
  4. Use strong passwords, and ideally a password manager to generate and store unique passwords.