Hargrove appointed to serve as assistant Republican leader on the House Transportation Committee
As part of his 2011 legislative committee assignments, Rep. Mark Hargrove was appointed to serve as the assistant ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee. The powerful committee is tasked with bridging the financial gap on mega-projects, like the 520 Bridge. It will also address how to best move people and goods through difficult interchanges, such as at Interstate 405 and Highway 167, among other issues.
“I am thrilled and energized as a new legislator to have been appointed to help lead this important committee,” said Hargrove, R-Covington. “The transportation budget represents billions of dollars that must be allocated smartly and in ways that efficiently get people to work and products to market. We must also work to keep the promises made when the voters last approved the gas tax increases.”
Hargrove explained that Washington has unique transportation needs because of its strong agricultural base and widespread aerospace industry.
“What I think people don't always consider is how much our transportation system is tied to our general state budget – the budget that pays for education, public safety and programs for the most vulnerable,” Hargrove said. “Large companies like Boeing and Microsoft, as well as agricultural and small-business operations, rely on us to create a system that helps them bring their employees to work and goods to market or to our ports for export. That requires efficient travel on ferries, bridges and rural roads and highways in every corner of our state.
“The better we design and manage our roadways, railways and marine highways, the more it translates into economic activity in our state. Moving products and people efficiently is a critical part of the state's economic recovery.”
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the state's $38 billion food and farming industry employs 160,000 people and is 12 percent of the state's economic activity. Additionally, nearly $14.8 billion in food and agricultural products were exported through Washington ports in 2009, the third largest total in the nation.
Hargrove added that he is looking forward to the challenge and the many hours of evening budget meetings to work on solutions that best address the transportation needs in every part of Washington.
The House Transportation Committee also considers policies related to transportation agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol.
###Washington State House Republican Communications