OLYMPIA — Sen. David Frockt is proud to announce the passage of Washington’s capital budget, which will invest more than $4 billion in essential, life-changing projects statewide.
“The capital budget is a critical tool in making sure Washingtonians have the quality of life they deserve,” Frockt said. “This budget is responsible for investments in our children’s education, for improvements to the mental health system, and for contributions to affordable housing. Its impacts touch every corner of this state.”
Frockt, D-Seattle, was instrumental in the measure’s passage as the Senate’s capital budget chair. For the first time in decades, the Legislature failed to pass a biennial capital budget in 2017 after Republicans tied it to an outside issue. But after less than two weeks of Democrats’ control of both the House and Senate, lawmakers were able to move the vital budget forward.
“Capital budgets have traditionally been bipartisan efforts benefiting all parts of our state, and this budget is no different,” Frockt. “It’s unfortunate that Washingtonians had to wait so long for this funding.”
“We have all heard for the last nine months the dramatic effects on jobs, investment and infrastructure that the failure to fund these projects had around the state. In my district alone, we heard of several businesses that were operating on reserve funds and pending layoffs while this important bill languished. It was critical for us to get this done early in the session, and I am proud that the new majority pulled it off.”
The $4 billion budget will fund the largest-ever investment in K-12 school construction — about $1 billion. About $861 million will go to higher education projects. About $106 million will go to the Housing Trust Fund, the second highest such investment in state history.
More than $65 million will go to community mental health beds, and about $20 million will go to both Eastern and Western state hospitals for patient safety enhancements, increased capacity and renovations.
About $15 million in the capital budget will fund a dramatic expansion in dental care, benefitting people who previously couldn’t afford treatment.
The budget also makes a significant investment in Washington’s environment and natural resources. A total of $350 million will go to water quality, with $55 million going to help local governments statewide treat contaminated storm water.
Another nearly $70 million will fund cleanup and remediation of contaminated sites.
In Frockt’s own 46th district and the city of Seattle, the budget provides:
• $2 million in renovations for the Magnuson and Lake City Community Centers
• $1.5 million for culvert replacement and embankment repair in Kenmore
• $1.2 million for Lyon Creek fish barrier removal in Lake Forrest Park
• $1 million for historic buildings
• $500,000 for St. Edward State Park ballfield renovation in Kenmore
• $250,000 for Kenmore Public Boathouse improvements
• $75,000 for the St. Edward State Park Environmental Learning Center
• $36 million for Seattle Public Schools renovations and capacity
• Several capital investments for the University of Washington, including Parrington Hall at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, the new Population Health Center, the Magnuson Health Science Building and the completion of funding for the Burke Museum
• $6 million in innovative, low-cost housing projects for King County and Seattle, including new modular construction.