Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith announced today several key transportation projects in Washington state will receive significant federal funding, allowing several small cities and counties to improve public transportation and alleviate trucker congestion within the 9th district. 

The funding comes as part of H.R. 2299, the 2002 Transportation Appropriations Conference Report, which passed the House of Representatives 371 - 11 and is expected to be passed by the Senate early next week before being signed by the President.

A list of projects Congressman Adam Smith endorsed that will improve transportation in the South Puget Sound region include:

$ 900,000 for the Kent 2nd Street Extension in Kent, WA:
The Federal Transportation Agency’s guidelines for transit-oriented development highly encourages complementary facilities and structures that will enhance the role of public transportation. The Second Avenue project is such a facility, in that it will enable more people to live in downtown Kent and access other points of the City. It will also foster better neighborhood to neighborhood connections, and will provide important access for people who use alternative modes of transit such as commuter rail and park and rides. 

$1.5 million for the Transit Oriented Development Project, Tukwila, Washington:
The funding would help complete the City of Tukwila’s urban center master planning process and install infrastructure which will establish the land use framework and infrastructure improvements necessary for the development of a public/private transit-oriented development at in Tukwila’s the urban center. The development will be adjacent to the City’s and Sound Transit’s recently opened, but “bare-bones,” commuter rail station now operating from a temporary plywood platform.

$ 200,000 for Port of Tacoma Trucker Congestions Notification System: 
This project will expand an on-going effort to provide truckers with advanced notice about congestion at the Port of Tacoma. An existing system uses a queue detector installed at the Port of Tacoma Road exit. This detector is linked to a changeable sign on I-5 that warns truckers of congestion at this main access road. Once aware of congestion the truckers can take one of several alternative roads into the port. However, this system serves only truckers on I-5 heading to the Port from the north. Additional funding is needed to expand the detection system to other exits to the port (Portland Avenue and the Fife Exit) and provide this information, using a system of variable message signs, to Port traffic from both the north and south. In addition, this information will be made available to a wider range of travelers.

$ 5 million for the City of Renton/Port Quendall Project: 
Improvements to the 44th Street Interchange general purpose and HOV/transit lanes. Located in the City of Renton near the Port Quendall Brownfield redevelopment project, the interchange improvements are critical to the City of Renton’s long range, comprehensive planning efforts in the area and are listed in regional and state transportation plans, confirming its role in addressing regional growth.

$ 2.5 million for the Pierce County Vehicle Initiative in the state of Washington: 
The Pierce Transit Vehicle Initiative would allow the procurement of passenger vehicles to meet important service needs and to continue to work towards the goal of a 100% compressed natural gas (CNG) fixed route fleet by 2006.

$20 million, Sound Transit, Sounder Commuter Rail from Lakewood to Tacoma:
Sounder Commuter Rail will bring service directly into some of the region’s largest employment centers, providing convenient access for an estimated 18,800 daily riders in 2020. The Sounder project provides commuters with the most viable, high-speed alternative to travel along the congested I-5 corridor. The project is being constructed in three segments. The Tacoma to Seattle segment is operational. Lakewood to Tacoma segment is completing preliminary engineering and environmental phases and is scheduled for operation in late 2002 or early 2003. And the Everett to Seattle segment is completing preliminary engineering and environmental phases and is scheduled for operation in 2003.

$20 million FAST Corridor in Washington State:
FAST Corridor is a $400 million, six-year program to build 15 road/rail overpasses and underpasses from Tacoma to Everett. The program is funded by a coalition that includes the Port of Tacoma, Port of Seattle, Port of Everett, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads and numerous counties and cities in the Puget Sound area. FAST Corridor is an acronym for Freight Action Strategy for the Seattle-Tacoma Corridor. An example of FAST Corridor is the $33 million Port of Tacoma Road Overpass -- the first such project to be completed

$1 million, King County, Transit Oriented Developments/Transit Amenities: 
Transit oriented development project sites associated with existing King County bus facilities and/or new Sound Transit regional bus, commuter rail or light rail facilities. The requested funds will be used to transform existing areas, or create new areas, into "green" or "pedestrian" streets by making changes such as, but not limited to: bus only lanes; on-street or off-street bus layover; street crossing improvements including bus bulbs, special pavement, and pedestrian signals; improved lighting; and bus shelters.

$ 3 million earmark for the WorkFirst Transportation Initiative: 
The Initiative is a partnership among the WSDOT, DSHS, CTED, ESD, and ACCT. It coordinates resources at the community level to transport low-income people to work, training, child care, and other employment related services. Through multi-agency planning, existing resources are used efficiently and new resources are coordinated with existing services.

$ 9.5 million, Sound Transit, Regional Express Transit Hubs: 
This package of Regional Express Transit Hubs includes the construction of new transit centers, park and ride lot capacity and direct HOV access improvements located in three counties in the cities of Lynnwood, Bellevue, Kirkland, Federal Way and Lakewood. The project will improve access, transit/HOV speed and reliability while integrating local and regional express bus service in Snohomish, East and South King County and Pierce County.

Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith, joined by a group of House New Democrat colleagues, today announced his support for a "lean, targeted, fiscally responsible" stimulus package.

The package includes meaningful relief for displaced workers and tax cuts designed to spur investment and stimulate the economy. Notably, the package maintains long-term fiscal discipline - a key cornerstone in a strong and healthy economy - by offsetting the worker relief and economic stimulus.

"There is a great economic argument taking place regarding whether or not our economy will continue to go south or if we're on our way to recovery,” said Smith "However, we all know for sure that hundreds of thousands of people are being laid off, and the unemployment rate in my state has climbed to 6.6 percent. That's why the centerpiece of our economic recovery package is meaningful workers' relief that includes extended unemployment, expanded eligibility for unemployment, training, and health care benefits. We cannot have a have an economic stimulus package without this kind of significant workers' relief.”

Also included in the proposal are tax cuts to stimulate the economy and spur investment, including providing for bonus depreciation on capital assets and increases in small business expensing allowances. 

"Unlike a lot of the tax cut ideas being thrown out, these are tax cuts that will really work to encourage investment and create jobs,” Smith noted.

The New Democrat proposal is the only stimulus proposal that is fully offset, by cutting the top income tax rate to 38.6 percent instead of 35 percent over the next decade. 

"Just yesterday, the White House announced that the days of budget surpluses are gone, and that we will see deficits for the rest of Bush's term,” Smith said. "While we absolutely must do something for the hundreds of thousands of displaced workers and something to give the economy a jump start, we must also maintain our long-term fiscal discipline.”

Currently, House and Senate Leadership is negotiating the procedure for a stimulus bill, and will begin discussing the substance of a bill as early as next week. Smith says that he is pleased negotiations have begun. "The proposal put forward by the New Democrats is where our leadership ought to be headed,” he said. "It's a measured, fiscally responsible approach that aims to cure what ails us - the unemployment problem. Instead of using the current situation to further longstanding political goals, whether it's big tax cuts or big spending increases, we should be moving in this direction.”

The tragedies of September 11 made it abundantly clear that America needed a stronger airport security system.  Congress took an enormous step forward today with the passage of airport security legislation.

No longer will we have low-paid, poorly-trained employees screening passengers and baggage at our airports.  Within a year, we will have federal law enforcement personnel at all our nation’s airports.  These workers will not have the right to strike and will be fired if they can’t do the job.  They must be American citizens.  Most importantly, they will be professionals, earning a decent salary and benefits.  We simply can’t have a system where security employees at our airports are only on the job for a few months because the pay and benefits are so low.  That won’t happen anymore.

This bill also ensures that all checked baggage will be screened for explosives, and expands the federal air marshal program.  

We will ensure that individuals seeking flight instruction undergo a background check and an Immigration and Naturalization Service review for foreign service.

I appreciate the hard work done by my Senate and House colleagues who set aside partisan differences and compromising on a common sense security approach for the benefit of all Americans.

Our task isn’t over, however.  Implementation is the most important part of this new security approach, and I look forward to working with the Department of Transportation and our local airports, such as SeaTac, in implementing the best airport security system in the world.

Congressman Adam Smith announced today that several key law enforcement services in Washington state will receive additional federal funding which will allow the state to have the nation's first integrated statewide jail booking system and increase its efforts to fight the continued epidemic of methamphetamine use in Washington state.

The funding comes as part of H.R. 2500, the 2002 Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations Conference Report, which passed the House of Representatives 411 - 15 and is expected to be signed by the President in the next week.

Smith's top priority, $1 million for the Washington Association of Sheriff and Police Chiefs (WASPC) to establish a statewide jail booking system, was granted in full. 

WASPC began establishing a statewide jail booking, reporting and victim notification system in 2000 knowing that when implemented, the system would be a valuable asset to the Washington State criminal justice community by providing a computerized link between all county and city jails for the exchange of jail booking data. This information, which is currently not accessible statewide, would increase law enforcement’s ability to investigate crime, enhance officer safety and protect victims of crime.

The Washington State Jail booking, reporting and victim notification system will be unique to the United States - no other state has developed a similar system. 

"A statewide jail booking system would increase Washington state law enforcement's ability to identify criminals and protect our citizens," explained Smith. "With so much travel between counties, it's imperative that, for example, Pierce County police officers know when a suspect is also wanted in King County. This system will ensure better communication between law enforcement agencies and will hopefully serve as a model to the rest of the country."

The $1 million request will allow WASPC to complete the project. The money will be used to assist the city and county law enforcement and correctional facilities throughout the state to integrate into the central site of the new statewide system. 

Also, Smith is pleased that he was able to help secure $4 million -- twice as much federal funding as last year -- to fight the methamphetamine crisis in Washington state. The funding will be used to alleviate the rampant meth problem that penetrates all nine congressional districts. 

“Methamphetamine abuse is causing many problems in our communities. It is not only damaging the drug abusers but also the abuser's family and neighbors,” Smith said. “Furthermore, it is an enormous public health risk, and cleanup costs are estimated to be close to $25,000 per site. This money was absolutely critical to combat this serious problem.”

I am pleased with recent developments related to the Microsoft case and am hopeful that a final settlement is soon reached between the Justice Department, Microsoft and the states.  This proposal represents real progress, and I’m confident that it will afford predictability to the company to move forward with its business plans, allow for continued delivery of high quality products to consumers and will give investors and entrepreneurs confidence that the government will not stifle innovation.

Among other things, the deal would provide protection for Microsoft’s intellectual property while the company shares its Windows’ source code in a secure facility.  Further, Microsoft would have to give hardware makers more control of the desktop, such as which icons users first see when starting their computers. Microsoft would also have to provide more of its code to firms that want to create applications that would run on Windows.  Importantly, the deal would require the company to provide independent monitors with full access to its books and plans for five years to ensure compliance with the terms of the agreement.

I believe that the consent decree will address the concerns expressed by some consumer groups and some of Microsoft’s competitors while avoiding the radical remedies that have been discussed.  Breaking up the company was never in the interest of consumers or the technology industry in general, and I believe that this proposed settlement recognizes that fact.  

Finally, I am hopeful that the states will agree to the terms of this settlement.  It is a balanced and fair approach to finally solving a case that has already dragged on for far too long.  It is time for the technology industry and our economy to get on with business and this settlement will allow just that.