Building a better Washington
January 25, 2018 | By Washington House Democrats
The capital budget signed into law
The new $4.18 billion capital budget, which has now been signed into law, will create thousands of jobs in every corner of the state—and it includes a record $1 billion to build public schools and $800 million to build colleges and universities. I’m particularly proud to have established a grant program for Career and Technical Education that will benefit schools here in the 41st and across the state.
Key projects in the 41st District funded in the capital budget include:
- $3.3 million for projects at Bellevue College
- $72,000 for career and technical education equipment for Bellevue public schools
- $50,000 for career and technical education equipment for Issaquah public schools
- $500,000 for Cougar Mountain trails
- $2.6 million for the Lake Sammamish Picnic Area
- $500,000 for the Wilburton Trestle
- $3.46 million for the Sunset Community Career Center and Neighborhood Park
Details about statewide investments include:
- $30 million for rural and distressed K-12 schools
- $800 million for state colleges and universities
- $105 million for Housing
- $65 million for Clean Energy, Solar, and Energy Efficiency
- $49 million for Arts, Building Communities, and Youth Recreation programs
- $76 million for Community Behavioral/Mental Health capacity
To learn more about statewide investments check out the Capital Budget Highlights.
Increasing access to affordable condominiums
Affordable housing is a critical problem across our district and state. With a booming population and increasing costs for housing, we need to promote more affordable housing options, including encouraging condominium development.
The Legislature has previously passed bills intended to encourage the development of affordable condos while still providing protections for buyers. However, many believe the pendulum has swung too far and regulations on condo construction has made it too easy for litigation to be brought against builders for construction defects. In effect, that increase in builders’ liability, which increases the costs associated with building condos, has made it too expensive for developers to price new condos at affordable levels.
In order to address the restrictive regulations, I have introduced House Bill 2831, which is modeled after a successful bipartisan bill passed last year in Colorado. The bill will require 50% of condo owners to agree to the litigation before a condominium association can participate in litigation against a builder or developer about a construction defect. This legislation will remove some of the barriers to building this type of affordable housing and allow condos to again be part of the path toward building equity and upward mobility for more people in our communities.
A creative housing solution for individuals with developmental disabilities
As parents of adults with developmental disabilities age, many are concerned about what will happen to their children in the future. These parents want to ensure their children are taken care of and have a safe, stable place to live. Unfortunately, due to the limitations on a person’s assets in order to receive services, these parents do not have the option to leave their homes to their children with developmental disabilities.
As the state struggles to provide housing for people with developmental disabilities, a cost-effective solution is needed.
I am sponsoring House Bill 2448, which will provide a real estate excise tax exemption for families that donate their homes to residential supported living nonprofits. A guarantee will allow their child to continue to live in the home as well as keep the home in the supportive living arena for decades to come. This is a creative way to address this need in a public-private partnership.
It will provide aging parents with peace of mind, provide stability for the person with developmental disabilities, and increase much-needed supportive living capacity across the state.
As always, feel free to share this update and please reach out if you have questions or comments.
Rep. Tana Senn