Dear friends and neighbors,
We know it has been hard for you and your family. The past two years have been rough, our nation is experiencing inflation, and too many workers and small businesses are still dealing with the economic fallout of COVID-19. While some people are doing great, this uneven recovery isn’t working for all of us. But it doesn’t have to be this way and together we can build a better future.
Even with the challenges we are facing today, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Masks are coming off, vaccines and boosters are available to everyone, and people are going back out into their communities and workplaces. With the chance for a sense of normalcy, everyone deserves to come out of this pandemic better than they went into it.
We’ve proven that by working together and leading with our values, we can create the communities we want, with safe schools, affordable childcare, healthy and safe communities, affordable housing, and a modern transportation system.
Budgeting with our values for a better Washington
In 2021, we passed a two-year Operating Budget to support people hit hardest by the pandemic, prioritizing the needs of essential and frontline workers, and Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities that have suffered the most and face the greatest barriers to recovery.
This year, we’re building on that budget to continue supporting those hurt most during the pandemic. Things won’t change overnight, and problems won’t go away without hard work, but our Supplemental Operating Budget will turn these values into reality with investments that include:
- Small businesses and economic recovery, including expanded Business and Occupation tax credits, $100 million for restaurants and hospitality businesses, $75 million for disaster response, and $25 million for arts programs.
- K-12 education: $2.3 billion for 2021-23, plus an additional $808 million in 2022 for investments in student transportation; nutrition, outdoor education, teacher salaries; and counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
- Children, youth and families: $827 million for 2021-23, plus an additional $245 million in 2022 to increase funding for childcare and providers and give stipends to youth who aged out of extended foster care during the pandemic.
- Homelessness and housing: $1.7 billion for 2021-23, plus an additional $318 million in 2022 including utility and rental assistance, landlord cost mitigation, homeless service and shelter providers, and a record transfer of $500 million to bolster the Housing Trust Fund.
- Public health and healthcare: $1.3 billion for 2021-23, plus an additional $837 million in 2022 to fund Washington’s COVID response and vaccination efforts, Medicaid dental services, and community health centers.
- Behavioral health: $520 million for 2021-23, plus an additional $277 million in 2022 to invest in substance use and mental health providers, recovery and treatment; housing and employment; and funding for crisis, outreach and diversion programs.
- Long-term care and developmental disabilities: $1.2 billion for 2021-23, plus an additional $1.2 billion for 2022 to fund provider rate increases and wages; employment and community services for people with developmental disabilities; and personal needs allowance increases.
- College and workforce development: $158 million in 2021-23, plus an additional $283 million in 2022 to create the Washington Student Loan Program; expand the Washington College Grant; and increase funding for healthcare and nursing education, training, and tuition assistance.
- Public safety, legal aid, and corrections: $189 million in 2021-23, plus an additional $215 million in 2022 to strengthen our response to domestic terrorism, fund the Office of Independent Investigations, domestic violence and sexual assault response, and civil legal aid.
- Natural resources: $342 million in 2021-23, plus an additional $620 million in 2022 to increase funding for salmon habitat and recovery, recreational lands maintenance, wildfire suppression and recovery, solar incentives, and invasive species control.
Moving people and goods safely and efficiently
Move Ahead Washington, our transformational $16 billion, 16-year package, creates a sustainable, achievable future for our transportation sector. Transportation Committee members hosted over 90 listening sessions to hear the top transportation priorities from communities across the state. This package addresses the concerns they heard and reflects our focus on meeting the needs of every community.
A commitment to our values, the Move Ahead Washington package puts people first:
- $5.4 billion for electrification, expanding affordable, accessible multimodal options, and reducing our carbon footprint.
- $3 billion for maintenance and preservation of our existing infrastructure.
- $3 billion for public transportation.
- Free fares for passengers 18 and younger on all public transportation.
- $2.4 billion to fund fish passage barrier removals.
- $1.3 billion in active transportation, including Safe Routes to School and school-based bike programs.
- $1 billion to fund Washington’s portion of an I-5 replacement bridge across the Columbia River.
- $836 million to build four new hybrid-electric ferries.
- $150 million towards ultra-high-speed rail.
- $50 million for walking and biking infrastructure in underinvested communities, and to increase opportunities for good jobs in the transportation sector.
Major Transportation Projects in the 21st Legislative District:
- $46 million: SR 525 Bridge Replacement – Mukilteo
- $20 million: I5/164th St SW Lynnwood Link Improvements
- $22.5 million: SR 99 Revitalization Project – improvements along the southern portion of Edmonds frontage along Highway 99.
- $25 million: SR 99 Business Access & Transit lanes – 2.3 miles of 14-foot BAT lanes in both directions on SR 99 from 148th St SW to Airport Road.
- $10 million: Swift Bus Rapid Transit/Silver Line
Supporting families, jobs and economic growth
The capital budget pays for construction projects in every corner of the state. From elementary schools and college science labs to parks and prisons with investments that build a better future for all.
This year’s Supplemental Capital Budget is centered around jobs, economic growth, and supporting Washington families. With some help from one-time additional federal revenue, we were able to assist our state in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, while also meeting the many challenges Washington families are facing every day.
We were proud to secure $206K for the Edmonds Boys & Girls Club Feasibility Study, $113M for the Housing Trust Fund, and $775K for the Weld Collaborative Reintegration Resource Center to support recovery and reintegration for people with substance use disorder or a history of incarceration.
Other Capital Budget investments include:
- Housing and shelter – $439 million for investments in rapid housing acquisition, permanent supportive housing, support for homeless youth, and preservation of existing mobile and manufactured housing.
- Behavioral health – $111 million for residential crisis triage and stabilization facilities, community behavioral health capacity grants, and capital investments at state-run behavioral health facilities.
- Early learning, public schools, and higher education – $101 million for seismic upgrades at public schools, early learning facility projects, public university improvements, public community and technical colleges support, and historically distressed public school grants.
- Essential infrastructure – $308 million for the Public Works Board (PWB), clean water, the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB), specific infrastructure projects around the state, and infrastructure at ports.
- Broadband – $100 million for the State Broadband Office, and broadband projects in unserved and underserved areas.
- Clean energy – $101 million for low-income weatherization, energy efficiency upgrades, solar manufacturing, and replacing T12 lighting in K-12 schools.
- Natural Resources – $271 million for water pollution control facilities, salmon recovery, Springwood Ranch, state parks projects, and the Voluntary Stewardship Program.
- Local & Community Projects – $64 million for requested local projects, dental capacity, and food banks.
More information about operating, capital and transportation investments can be found at leap.leg.wa.gov, and projects can be mapped at the county or legislative district level at fiscal.wa.gov.
Keep in Touch!
We will be hosting another virtual town hall sometime in April and you’ll get the details as soon as they are finalized. In the meantime, be sure to visit our websites and social media pages:
Rep. Strom Peterson
As always, we appreciate your taking the time to read this newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to contact our offices with your questions and feedback.