Dear friends and neighbors,
With the session having ended recently, we’d like to give you a rundown of the main investments in all three state budgets passed this year.
These investments were made with an intentional focus on equity, particularly when it comes to food, behavioral health, and poverty reduction supports. Washington is resilient in the face of adversity and these strategic and responsible budgets are geared toward leveling the playing field for those with the most need so we can all have the opportunity to thrive.
Budgeting for a more resilient Washington
Aptly dubbed “Resilient Washington Budget,” our 2023-25 operating budget funds critical state services including behavioral health, public education, affordable housing, and historic investments to address the climate crisis. We are investing in Washington’s people, lands, waters, working families, and communities, while also directing targeted equity investments to overburdened populations that face the greatest barriers to economic stability. These are some of the highlights:
- K-12 EDUCATION: $2.2 billion for access to free meals for students; historic investments in special education; supporting educators with inflation adjustments; health care cost increases for educators; funding dual language efforts; and providing funding support for student transportation, teacher salaries, counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
- LONG-TERM CARE AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES: $1.8 billion to increase home care worker rates for individual providers; improve adult family home collective bargaining agreements; support providers and workers with rate increases in nursing homes, assisted and supported living facilities; and patient transitions out of acute care hospitals.
- BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: $1.1 billion for a 15% rate increase to providers; additional community bed capacity; opioid and other substance use disorder treatment; crisis, outreach, and diversion programs; funding the 988-crisis response hotline; and improving youth behavioral health outcomes.
- PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTHCARE: $1 billion for foundational public health services; increase rates for health care workers, including primary care and pediatricians; provider rates and reimbursement; reproductive health services, and Cascade Care for individuals with lower incomes who are not Medicaid eligible.
- NATURAL RESOURCES: $684 million for climate planning and response; forest health and wildfire protection; salmon production, habitat, and recovery; biodiversity conservation programs; and invasive species management.
- CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES: $590 million to increase family childcare provider pay; expand Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program slots; increase family visitation provider rates; fund childcare for children with complex needs, and childcare facilities to offer non-standard hours.
- HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: $519 million for emergency housing and rental assistance; the covenant homeownership program; expanding child and youth homeless programs; and encampment response and outreach.
- HUMAN SERVICES AND POVERTY REDUCTION: $397 million including funding for food assistance programs, refugee support and education; an 8% increase to TANF, ABD and other cash assistance programs; implementing the Working Families Tax Credit; and expanding the TANF diaper subsidy and time limit
- COLLEGE AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: $382 million for community and technical colleges; health care workforce and training; expanding the Washington College Grant; dual credit programs; a graduate student loan program; and post-secondary student basic needs.
- PUBLIC SAFETY, LEGAL AID AND CORRECTIONS: $253 million to expand domestic violence services; fund the Office of Public Defense and Office of Civil Legal Aid; expand criminal justice training and certification; fund therapeutic courts; firearm violence prevention; increase wages for people who are incarcerated; and funding for the AMEND program at DOC for collaboration and training.
Moving people and goods safely and efficiently
The 2023-25 biennial Transportation Budget is a transformational $13.6 billion that builds upon the 2021-23 budget and historic 16-year package, Move Ahead Washington. This budget embodies priorities such as creating a sustainable and achievable future for our transportation sector, while also addressing legislative and gubernatorial priorities.
Top transportation priorities from communities across our district include eliminating delays in major highway projects, improving traffic safety, reducing carbon emissions, investing in Washington State Ferries, and bridging gaps in multi-modal and pedestrian-based transit.
The 2023-25 Transportation Budget reflects our focus on meeting the needs of every community and putting people first:
- $6 billion for maintenance, preservation, and improvements of existing infrastructure.
- $2.4 billion to fund fish passage barrier removals.
- $1.26 billion to procure three hybrid-electric conversion vessels start construction of five new hybrid vessels, ferry workforce development to offer entry level positions, create advancement pathways, provide scholarships for mate candidates, begin a WSF and Seattle Maritime Academy training partnership, and increase HR capacity for WSF’s hiring, recruitment, and retention efforts.
- $921 million in Climate Commitment Act (CCA) funding for active transportation, ferries, alternative fuel and electrification for commercial vehicle infrastructure, as well as hydrogen refueling infrastructure, public transit electrification, e-bike rebate programs, state electrification infrastructure grants, and carbon reduction programs.
- $406 million in active transportation, including Safe Routes to School, school-based bike programs, and connecting community grants.
- $161 million to boost bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects and programs, especially in underinvested communities, and to increase opportunities for good jobs in the transportation sector.
- $109 million to improve rail and freight infrastructure, port modernization efforts for improved future resiliency and expansion of seaports.
- $4.2 million for people 18 and under to ride ferries for free.
- $3.9 million to keep streets and roadways safe with automated speed cameras in work zones.
Major Transportation Projects in the 21st District
- $218 million: Design of new hybrid electric vessel and items for a second vessel.
- $187 million: Mukilteo Terminal upgrades for improved efficiency and capacity.
- $47 million: SR 526 corridor improvements between I-5 to the east, and the southwest Everett industrial area.
- $46 million: SR 525 bridge replacement in Mukilteo.
- $25 million: SR 99 Business Access & Transit lanes –3 miles of 14-foot BAT lanes in both directions on SR 99 from 148th St SW to Airport Road.
- $22.5 million: SR 99 Revitalization Project – improvements along the southern portion of Edmonds frontage along Highway 99.
- $20 million: I5/164th St SW Lynnwood Link Improvements.
- $10 million: Swift Bus Rapid Transit/Silver Line.
- $6.5 million: Snohomish County, in partnership with WSU, will establish facilities to evaluate, qualify, certify, and research technology to minimize the impact of aviation on human health and the environment.
- $6.3 million: Everett Transit to replace diesel buses with five battery electric busses.
Creating jobs and building a better Washington
This $9 billion Capital Budget will create jobs in every corner of our state, while addressing some of the more challenging needs in our communities around affordable housing, behavioral health, health care facilities and school construction. It also makes investments in ecosystem resiliency and restoration while working on carbon reduction, focusing on overburdened communities. We are proud of these investments that will build a brighter future and will serve the people of Washington for generations. Here are some of the highlights:
- Housing Trust Fund: $400 million — Competitive grant program to build affordable housing, including Apple Health and Homes rapid permanent supportive housing.
- Affordable housing and shelters: $170 million —Youth shelter and housing projects; transit-oriented development; and land acquisition funding for affordable housing developments.
- Home upgrades: $124 million —Weatherization for low-income households; home efficiency energy rebates; and home rehabilitation for low-income households in rural areas.
- Mental health state facilities: $660 million — Includes 350-bed forensic hospital at Western State Hospital; and renovations at Maple Lane to expand bed capacity by 136 beds.
- Behavioral health: $224 million – Competitive grants for community behavioral services, including facilities that serve children; the Rising Strong project, which will provide family-centered drug treatment and supportive housing for at least 24 households in Western Washington; and local facilities including crisis diversion, secure detox, and adolescent services.
- Public Works Assistance Account: $400 million — Infrastructure for local governments for projects involving drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems.
- Broadband: $200 million — Competitive grants to expand broadband to unserved and underserved communities.
- Military Department: $129.5 million — Funding for National Guard facilities around the state.
- Higher education: $1.5 billion
- K-12 public school construction: $872 million
- Early learning facility grants: $70.4 million
- Water quality: $798 million
- Clean energy and climate change: $423.8 million
- Toxic cleanup and prevention: $184.3 million
- Flood risk reduction and habitat restoration: $177.8 million
- Water supply: $156 million
- State Parks: $81.6 million
- Air quality: $56.6 million
Capital Projects in the 21st District
- $1.9 million: Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center minor works.
- $1.4 million: Boys and Girls Club (Edmonds).
- $500K: Snohomish County Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility grant for the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, which rehabilitates sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals.
- $500K: Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account-North Portwalk Development (Edmonds Marsh).
- $273K: NW Stream Center Sustainable Infrastructure (Everett).
- $258K: Harbour Point Boulevard Pathway (Mukilteo).
- $258K: First Responder Wellness Center (Mukilteo).
- $200K: Center for the Arts Design (Edmonds).
- $140K: Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Pre-Design along waterfront railroad corridor.
Thank you for taking the time to read this budgets report. For more detailed information on all these investments, please visit http://leap.leg.wa.gov/.