The capital construction budget passed by the Senate provides for a historic $1.1 billion in school construction and public education investments, Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said today. The landmark budget bill passed unanimously and now moves to the House for further negotiations in the state’s two-year budgeting process.

“This budget makes an unprecedented investment of nearly $1.1 billion in the K-12 system, which will result in new schools and classrooms around the state in both urban and rural areas,” said Frockt, the lead Democratic budget writer for the capital budget. “This is several hundred million dollars more than any recent budget and the highest amount invested in K-12 school construction since the McCleary decision came down.”

The budget includes specific investments requested by Seattle Public Schools this year to fund new school construction and additional classrooms. When combined with funding in the School Construction Assistance Program, Seattle would realize nearly $36 million in additional school construction funding from the state over the next two years.

“The budget also adds significantly to the governor’s proposed budget to fund critical investments in our four-year universities and in our community and technical college system,” Frockt said. “This is a budget that lays the foundation for a promising future for generations of Washington students to come.”

The budget provides $60 million for stormwater improvements, $30 million for the Clean Energy Fund, and $80 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program based on the program’s priority schedule — all uncommonly high allocations for Senate budgets in recent years.

“The budget adds to our existing capacity for mental health treatment by funding crisis walk-in centers and additional low- and no-barrier housing beds among other mental health investments,” Frockt added. “It provides nearly $100 million in housing funding, including $95 million in the Housing Trust Fund, with specific funding for an innovation grant in high-need areas like Seattle. It also provides $16 million in grants to improve dental capacity in underserved communities across our state to improve the ability of thousands of low-income Washingtonians to see a dentist through our network of Community Health Centers.

“While this budget doesn’t address all our critical needs to the extent I had sought, it is a positive budget overall that moves us forward in critical areas, particularly in education and mental health. Its overwhelming bipartisan support bodes well for the Legislature as we move toward final negotiations over our education funding plan and needed capital investments. The public wants the two parties to work together to solve problems and I think this budget shows that the two parties can do that.”