Press Release

Monday, September 23

AWB opposes I-976, endorses legislative candidate

Employer group urges ‘no’ vote on initiative that threatens to cut funding for sorely needed transportation projects; endorses candidate for state House

OLYMPIA — Washington’s transportation infrastructure needs more investment, not less. That’s why the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, is opposing Initiative 976, which threatens to cut funding for badly needed projects throughout the state.

“Now more than ever, Washington needs to invest in projects that get people to work swiftly, children to school safely and goods to market efficiently,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “If it’s approved, I-976 will remove billions from the transportation budget at a time when we can least afford it, jeopardizing critical projects throughout the state. We took a big step a few years ago when lawmakers approved the Connecting Washington transportation package with bipartisan support. It was the first major transportation investment package in a decade. Since then, the state population has continued to grow, further straining our transportation network. Now is not the time to pull back from investing in projects that will make our roads safer, reduce congestion and improve our economy.”

The AWB board of directors voted to oppose I-976 at its meeting Thursday during the organization’s annual Policy Summit. The board also voted to endorse Alex Ybarra in the race for House Position 1 in the 13th Legislative District.

Candidate endorsements are the result of a months-long process based on member input and candidate interviews.

“Washington employers are committed to supporting legislative candidates who understand the decisions they make in Olympia can help or hurt private employers and the health of our state economy,” Johnson said. “We believe Rep. Ybarra has demonstrated an understanding of the issues facing employers and a desire to help employers grow, which will enable families and communities to prosper.”

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