State capital budget to pump millions into 23rd-district economy

The state capital budget OK’d by the Legislature late Thursday night will pay for more than $65 million in construction and renovation projects in the 23rd legislative district, which includes part of Kitsap County, including Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Kingston, Silverdale, Winslow and East Bremerton.

23rd-district state Rep. Sherry Appleton said the long-delayed budget was one of the best in memory for the district, for Kitsap County as a whole, and for the entire state.

“We fought hard for Kitsap,” Appleton (D-23rd, Poulsbo) said, “and in a tough budget year, I’m very pleased with the results. Just in the human services area, this budget invests a million dollars in improvements to Mary and Martha Health and Rehab Center.  We allocate more than three quarters of a quarter million to help Morrow Manner in its goal of providing safety and stability to victims of domestic violence.  And we’ve set aside more than half a million dollars to help Fishline provide food and emergency services to our neighbors in need.”

Additionally, Appleton said, the 2018 capital budget will pay for work on the district’s public schools, area parks, healthcare facilities, the library in Silverdale, and the ARC Community Center, to name a few. And she stressed that a University of Washington study found that every million dollars in construction spending produces 18 family-wage jobs.

“As pleased as I am by this capital budget,” Appleton added, “I find it hard to forgive the Senate Republicans who ran the Senate last year for refusing to consider it nine months ago, when it first was released. Their decision to hold the capital budget hostage until lawmakers passed an unrelated bill caused the Legislature to adjourn without a construction plan in place for the first time in Washington’s history.”

That delay, she said, which was ended when Democrats regained the majority in the Senate because of victory in a special election, cost Washingtonians thousands of jobs and caused the state to lose an entire construction season.

The capital budget was approved unanimously by the Senate and passed in the House with a 95-1 margin.  A separate bill authorizing bond sales to provide funding for the budget passed out of both chambers with strong bipartisan support. Gov. Jay Inslee wasted no time in signing both bills into law Friday (Jan. 19) afternoon.