Transportation revenue talks on hold until operating budget reached, Dems say

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — House Democrats in Washington state have stopped negotiations on a transportation revenue package until a state operating budget deal is reached.

House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, a Democrat from Mercer Island, said Wednesday that she was asked on Tuesday by caucus leadership to temporarily halt talks with Senate Republicans, which have been ongoing for weeks.

Clibborn says that both sides had been close to coming to agreement on a transportation funding package that would include a gas tax increase to pay for projects across the state. Clibborn says she's frustrated by the development, but says that both sides are close enough to a transportation agreement that they could move quickly once a final state budget deal has been struck.

Lawmakers have been driven into two overtime sessions over disagreements on a new two-year operating budget.