Local and statewide investments: House capital budget proposal

House releases 2019-20 capital budget proposal

This week, the state House unveiled its capital budget proposal. Often referred to as the “construction budget,” the capital budget funds the construction and repair of our state’s infrastructure.

Alongside other House Democrats, I have proposed bold investments in public schools, affordable housing, environmental sustainability and behavioral health. Not only do these capital investments better serve our communities, they create jobs and bolster our local economy.

Here is a quick look at the investments in our 2019-20 capital budget proposal:

$1.1 billion for K-12 public school construction

$927 million for public colleges and universities, including $368 for community colleges

$155 million for affordable housing projects

$117 million for community behavioral health facilities, to increase capacity for behavioral health treatment in our local communities

construction in Washington

Big wins for Spokane

As both a lifelong Spokanite and a member of the House Capital Budget committee, I’m excited about what the House proposal includes for local projects in Spokane. I will continue to push to ensure the final capital budget that passes the full Legislature funds these important projects in our community:

$1 million for Joya Child & Family Development (formerly Spokane Guilds’ School & Neuromuscular Center) Joya Child & Family Development has served families with developmentally delayed children in our community for decades. However, they were only able to serve 20% of those that needed services in our area. By building a new facility in the University District, more children will have opportunities to thrive right here in Spokane.

$30 million for Broadband
Areas of Spokane have been underserved when it comes to internet. This is an issue of both health and education equity. Being one of the most economically challenged districts in Washington, often times the internet is the only affordable resource for a child to research for a school project. By investing in both broadband for rural and underserved areas, no family will be left without access to information and resources.

Other Spokane projects include:

  • $500,000 for the WSU Spokane Biomedical and Health Science Building Phase II
  • $1.55 million for the Museum of Arts and Culture (including $750,000 for Campbell House)
  • $750,000 for the Don Kardong Bridge rehabilitation
  • $2 Million for the jail diversion facility
  • $237,000 for NewTech Skills Center Automotive and Veterinarian Garage Doors

Finally, I’m excited the capital budget proposal continues funding for Healthy Kids/Healthy Schools grants, which I pushed for several years ago. Some of these grants are used for cafeteria and kitchen equipment upgrades in local schools, enabling them to do more scratch cooking and use locally-sourced produce. Rising obesity rates and diabetes among children underscores the importance of more nutritious foods in our schools, as well as water bottle filling stations and opportunities for physical activity. The House capital budget proposal sets aside $3.25 million for these grants.

It’s an honor to serve you. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions, feedback, or concerns.

Best regards,

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