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Hot topics discussed at Tri-Ports legislative lunch

December 13, 2013 J,

Transportation issues, finding money for projects to create new jobs and a possible hike in gas taxes were hot topics at the Tri-Ports legislative luncheon held Tuesday.

Port and county commissioners and staff and representatives from the public utility districts, chambers, cities and higher education attended the meeting at the Columbia Center Red Lion Hotel in Kennewick.

State Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, told the group he voted against the state budget in the last session because it took money away from cities and counties.

“That’s not the way to balance the budget. Instead the state needs to become more efficient at using the money it has,” he said.

Jim Toomey, Port of Pasco executive director, said there’s plenty of money if you know what your priorities are. But the delivery of basic services is getting to be more difficult without improvements to the state’s infrastructure and transportation routes.

“We’re all going to have to learn to do more with what will probably be less in the future,” he said.

Klippert said the Legislature was considering an 11.5 cent hike in gas taxes as way to raise revenue and it will likely come up for discussion in the next session.

 

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