State government OKs $6.23 billion capital budget

By Sydney Brown

WNPA News Service

Lawmakers passed a $6.23 billion capital budget April 2 in a unanimous vote, earmarking millions of state and federal funds for investments in community projects and public works.

“We’ve put together a budget that not only provides for the infrastructure needs of big urban centers, but prioritizes rural communities struggling to survive in the pandemic’s aftermath,” Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan, said in a statement.

For education, the proposal plans $781.7 million for the K-12 School Construction Assistance Program and $679 million for state four-year institutions. The proposal also offers $191 million for construction of the University of Washington teaching hospital.

The budget also includes funding for local projects and grants, with $227 million for the Public Works Board and $94 million statewide for community projects. Another $175 million would go toward the Housing Trust Fund. Almost $26 million would go toward grants to increase homeless shelter capacity.

“We invest $90 million in what we call rapid housing acquisition … What that is designed to do is to help communities in immediate need to get people housed,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle.

Money for local health services would also get funding, with $69.5 million dedicated for the Western State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital and other state facilities.

Improving state parks is also prioritized in the capital budget. The State Parks and Recreation Commission would get $56.7 million for parks across the state. Longer-term projects would get $5.7 billion — some of which comes from general obligation bonds — for schools, public works and parks. The plan would dedicate $33.7 million for the Yakima River Basin and $31.7 million for the Office of the Columbia River.

Another $189 million from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund would fund health monitoring and educational projects. The Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund invests $400 million in expanding broadband access, water and sewage.

Funds target for Kitsap County would go to: Commerce, community and technical college, corrections, ecology, military, schools, veteran affairs, and parks, recreation and conservation.

A list by county of capital projects funded through this bill can be found at fiscal.wa.gov/CapitalCountyMap.aspx

More in News

Tax credit for working families passes

By Sydney Brown WNPA News Service A tax credit for working families… Continue reading

.
2 new REAC members appointed by council

Two new members were recently appointed to the Race Equity Advisory Committee… Continue reading

.
141 new cases of COVID confirmed in Kitsap

On Monday, the Kitsap Public Health District confirmed 141 new positive cases… Continue reading

Artist rendition of affordable housing project. Courtesy Photo
BI coalition works to provide affordable housing

A Bainbridge Island coalition is working together to provide affordable housing. The… Continue reading

Jean and family members. Courtesy photos
Woman in BI turns 105

Though hard to verify, Jean Wohlsen has to be one of the… Continue reading

Recycle food to reduce carbon footprint

When Bainbridge Island residents throw out food, rather than recycle it, the… Continue reading

Aisha Harrison working on a sculpture. Courtesy Photo
BIMA Zoom event about clay-to-bronze sculpting Sunday

With its continual offerings of Zoom webinars each week, the Bainbridge Island… Continue reading

.
Ethical dilemma: Intent or what we want?

BI council’s new code denies Winslow Hotel

Improvements in lighting over the years. Courtesy Photo
Shedding some light on BI fields

The Bainbridge Island Football (soccer) Club recently made a pitch to the… Continue reading

Most Read