Rep. Hutchins strongly urges governor to declare ferry system emergency in impassioned House floor speech

In an impassioned speech on the House floor, Rep. Spencer Hutchins, R-Gig Harbor, strongly renewed his call for Gov. Jay Inslee to declare an emergency over the state ferry system. Hutchins was speaking to an amendment to the supplemental operating budget that mirrored House Bill 2498 cosponsored by Hutchins, and Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia, the assistant and ranking Republican members of the House Transportation Committee, that called on Gov. Jay Inslee to exercise his emergency powers to declare an emergency on ferries and expedite the procurement of at least two new nonhybrid electric ferries that could be on the water in two years, rather than 2028 – the earliest the governor’s hybrid electric boats would be in service. The majority party ignored the bill. But Hutchins stressed the need for urgent action in his floor speech, explaining with so many Washingtonians relying on ferry service, the current state of the ferry system is equivalent to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or the 520 Bridge disappearing for an hour at a time. The amendment failed.


Washington State House Republican Communications