House passes transportation budget, money for state troopers

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The House in Washington has passed a transportation budget proposal that includes money to raise salaries of underpaid and unhappy Washington State Patrol troopers.

The proposal was approved on an 84-13 vote Thursday night. The Senate’s transportation plan has not been voted on by that chamber.

The pay raises are part of House Bill 2872, which has a number of measures aimed at recruiting new troopers and retaining current ones. A report given to the Legislature says troopers often leave for higher-paying local law enforcement jobs.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jake Fey, D-Tacoma, would require trooper salaries to be competitive with certain local police departments.

The House transportation budget, which increases spending by $473 million from the two-year transportation budget, provides around $16 million to implement Fey’s bill.