The State Budget
The state House of Representatives is currently working on the budget for the 2019-2021 biennium. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but these items are a part of the House budget proposals. There are several items in the budget that will benefit our district and address community concerns, so I highlight them below and want you to know that I am fighting to keep them in the budget as the negotiations continue
The House is currently planning on investing $750,000 to improve the Juanita Drive NE/NE 32nd Street and Juanita Drive NE/NE 124th Street intersections. These projects are a part of the plans that I worked on when I served on the Kirkland City Council and they will greatly improve the safety of this well-used north-south connection. Our transportation budget proposal aims to improve the affected areas through implementing two auto and pedestrian treatments that will target collision “hot spots.”
We also propose investing $70 million of toll revenues into north end improvements on I-405. With the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit targeted to begin in 2024 we will need our roadways to be able to accommodate the necessary changes to ensure we are ready for BRT. Below are some preliminary illustrations of the proposed projects.
- Extending the second express toll lane between SR 522 and SR 527 in both directions.
- Rebuilding the SR 522 interchange and adding direct access ramps for buses, carpools, vanpools, and motorcycles to directly access the express toll lanes in the center of the freeway.
- Building partial direct access ramps at SR 527 near Canyon Park.
Image courtesy of WSDOT
Image courtesy of WSDOT
For the last 3 years, I have been championing increased investments in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy so that we can diminish the backlog of recruits who need to be trained so that they can be out in the community and helping their agencies meet their minimum staffing levels. The House operating budget includes additional investment in police training to fund nineteen Basic Law Enforcement Academy courses per year. This is an increase over the eighteen classes funded last year and seventeen the previous year.
Bothell Landing Bridge
The iconic bridge at Bothell Landing is nearing the end of its structural life and is in need of replacement. The House has recognized this issue and our capital budget includes $1 million for the installation of a replacement bridge. We want everyone to have access to our community parks and recreational facilities and that requires infrastructure that is safe.
Image courtesy of the City of Bothell
Mountlake Terrace Main Street
With the coming Link Light Rail station serving the City of Mountlake Terrace, there are great plans to create a strong pedestrian, bike, and vehicular connection to the Transit Center as well as to stimulate investment to revitalize the downtown area. Our capital budget proposal also includes an investment of $750,000 to widen sidewalks, install energy efficient pedestrian and street lighting, create new bicycle lanes, and more.
University of Washington Bothell
I consistently hear that tech companies in our region have a hard time finding qualified candidates to fill their jobs vacancies. The House capital budget includes an investment of $75 million for the construction of a new joint science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) building on the UW-Bothell and Cascadia Community College campus. This building will save the state money by creating a shared facility between the two institutions while also providing a solid investment in our students in high demand fields.
The inadequacy of mental health care in our state impacts all of us on some level. Our operating budget also invests $400,000 for the University of Washington Bothell campus to develop a series of online courses for school district staff related to behavioral health. As one piece of a multi-faceted approach to improving our behavioral health system, advancements in behavioral health education will allow us to better address these issues.
Thank you all for taking to the time to read this week’s newsletter and for taking an interest in our progress in the House of Representatives. If you have any questions, inquiries, or concerns please feel free to contact me with the info below.
Representative, 1st Legislative District
Washington State Legislature