Democrats and Republicans in the House united behind a 96-2 vote for a capital budget that would put billions of dollars to work for construction projects, with most of that construction focused on education and higher education.
“Our bipartisan capital budget makes real investments in the future of our state,” said Rep. Derek Stanford (D – Bothell), vice chair of the House Capital Budget Committee. “The capital budget is about more than construction projects — it’s about thousands of jobs for men and women as we work together to build classrooms for our kids.”
In two rulings, the state Supreme Court has ordered us to fulfill our constitutional duty to fully fund education and fix our broken mental health care system. This capital budget includes $1.6 billion in construction funds for education and $72 million for facilities to treat mental illness.
“The operating budget was half the solution, paying for vital staff and services our residents need,” Stanford said. “This capital budget is the other half, building the facilities our kids need to learn and our residents need to get treatment and get better.”
Education: $1.6 billion on education, including $627 million on School Construction Assistance Program, with reforms to help most needy schools and ensure access to STEM and Skills Centers.
Mental Health: $72 million, including upgrades and higher capacity at Western and Eastern State hospitals, new E&T facilities, psychiatric beds, and a long term plan for 700-bed mental health treatment facility.
Housing: $80 million to targeted Housing Trust Fund projects, $20 million for weatherization for homeowners and $10 million for community energy efficiency program
Natural Resources: $191 million for the Water Pollution Control Program, $63 million in Stormwater Financial Assistance, $43 million in Floodplains by Design, $57 million for state parks and $8.1 million in Coastal Restoration Grants.
Other projects: $5.7 million in Building for the Arts, $21 million in the Building Communities Fund, $10 million for Heritage Capital Grants and $75 million in local community projects.
The budget also includes $500,000 for a new science, technology, engineering and math programs building on the UW Bothell campus, helps Mountlake Terrace move forward with the main street revitalization project and allocates funds to help purchase the former Wayne Golf Course to preserve it as a park and fish habitat.
A full list of projects in the 1st LD can be found here.