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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Boeing Incentives Signed; Washington Lawmakers Turn To Roads

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Boeing
File photo of a Boeing 777 jetliner.

Boeing will get tax incentives and worker training under bills signed into law Monday by Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

But the Democrat did not get another of his major goals from a recent special session: a transportation funding package. But that issue isn’t dead, especially since the governor has made it clear more money for transportation is essential to keeping Boeing jobs in Washington.

The timing of that is the big question mark. We’re getting some signals that Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate are working toward a deal on a $10 billion package that would probably mean a 10-cent a gallon gas tax increase, phased in over some number of years.

They might be able to come to agreement later this month. If they don’t, it seems that that issue gets punted to January, when the legislature meets for a short election year 60-day session.

The Boeing incentives that passed in the special session are aimed at guaranteeing assembly of the new 777x plane and carbon fiber wing in Washington.

Also key to that is a new contract with Boeing machinists. They vote on Wednesday on a company proposal that has faced harsh criticism from some union members.