On Sunday, the Washington State Legislature passed a new, two-year capital budget. The $4.9 billion budget will fund various construction projects throughout the state. Thirty-fifth District legislators Sen. Tim Sheldon, Rep. Drew MacEwen, and Rep. Dan Griffey worked to secure $81.4 million in local project funding. Some of the investments include:
- $26.8 million for the ongoing development and implementation of the integrated Chehalis Basin Strategy;
- $22.4 million for corrections facilities repair and improvements;
- $6.8 million for the Skokomish River restoration;
- $4 million to relocate the Schafer campground outside of the floodplain of the East Fork of the Satsop River and build a new welcome center;
- $3.5 million for the Shelton YMCA;
- $2 million for the Belfair sewer extension;
- $600,000 for the Holly Ridge Center in Bremerton;
- $350,000 for the Skabob House Cultural Center at Skokomish Indian Reservation;
- $265,000 to help replace the irrigation system at Mason Co. Recreation Area;
- $253,000 to help with salmon recovery in Big Beef Creek Estuary.
Following passage of the budget, the lawmakers released the following statement:
“Despite the many divisive policies we considered this legislative session, the 2019-21 capital budget reflects our shared state priorities. Under this budget, K-12 school construction funding reaches historic levels with $1.09 billion invested. We’ve already made K-12 education our number-one priority in the state operating budget, and this biennium’s capital budget follows suit.
“We’ve also doubled down on our efforts to fix our broken mental health system by providing $308 million to our state psychiatric hospitals and other state-run community facilities.
“We are investing $175 million in housing to help bring an end to our affordable housing crisis. According to a 2018 US News and World Report study, housing in Washington state is more unaffordable than almost anywhere else in the nation. This robust investment will help us increase availability and prevent individuals from facing the dire prospect of homelessness.
“Lastly, we worked hard in both chambers to secure funding for a number of important projects in our communities. These projects will result in safer, improved facilities, ecosystem restoration, flood mitigation, increased revenue generated at our recreational areas, and much more. We’re excited about these much-needed investments in our district.”
For a full list of projects funded in the 35th District, visit http://fiscal.wa.gov/BudgetCProjList.aspx and select “35th Legislative District.”
The 2019-21 capital budget awaits the governor’s signature.