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Originally published March 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM | Page modified March 30, 2010 at 8:13 PM

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Gov. Gregoire signs $8.5B transportation budget

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law an updated $8.5 billion state transportation budget that lawmakers say will bankroll thousands of construction jobs.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law an updated $8.5 billion state transportation budget that lawmakers say will bankroll thousands of construction jobs.

The supplemental budget plan signed by Gregoire on Tuesday is about $1 billion more than last year's biennial budget.

The increase comes mostly from federal money that the state will use to pay for large projects, including $590 million to increase the speed of trains on the rail corridor between Oregon and British Columbia.

The transportation budget also has $30 million more for fuel costs, primarily for ferries, and $3 million for storm water treatment.

Cuts in the transportation budget include fewer Department of Transportation management positions, and the continued closure of up to 25 licensing offices.

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