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Thursday, February 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Gov debate: Transportation

When is the right time to ask voters for a tax increase for transportation?

McKenna: The fall of 2013 or fall of 2014. It will depend on the voters' reaction to the list of projects...including the North Spokane Corridor. We need to look for ways to provide more support to local governments to expand transit. We need to pay close attention to freight mobility.

Inslee: Right now we're lacking in trust in the state government. We need to bring lean management to every department of government, including the Department of Transportation.

McKenna: He didn't answer the question. When is the right time. He refuses to take a position on this

Inslee: The right time is when we regain the trust of voters. That's not a calendar date.

Followup: What about public-private partnerships for transporation.

Inslee: We should look at multiple options and find one that works. Need to watch the details, look at all the tools at our disposal. Private enterprise can produce good products for state government. It has to be a partnership between a more efficient government and business. I would would consider those in the right circumstances.

McKenna: I don't believe we should tap our pension system to fund programs, as Inslee proposed at the beginning of his campaign. We need to attract private capital.

Inslee: I listened to people and will not propose changes to our pension system.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.