OLYMPIA – Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, released the following statement today after the Legislature’s failure to pass a capital budget:

“I’m beyond disappointed that lawmakers will leave Olympia this year without a capital budget. This bipartisan budget included more than $4 billion dollars for school construction, mental health facilities, affordable housing, parks and other community projects.

“In Everett alone, the Cocoon House for homeless youth lost out on funding for its expansion and Everett High School won’t receive $2 million for a new center focused on getting students prepared for high-demand healthcare careers.

“Senate Republicans insisted on holding up the capital budget until lawmakers essentially overturned a recent state Supreme Court ruling requiring counties to protect ground and surface water supplies before new wells are drilled.

“Washington’s tribes and other groups interested in protecting our state’s natural resources support the court’s decision, but also understood early on that everyone needs access to water. That’s why they offered a path that would allow access to water — even in sensitive basins — as long as mitigation projects could ensure sufficient stream flows for salmon and other species to recover.

“Despite months of good-faith negotiations, Senate Republicans insisted on a ‘my way or the highway’ approach to this issue. GOP leaders kept pushing a bill that would ‘fix’ the court ruling by nullifying it. By pitting landowners who want to develop property against the reality that our natural resources are finite and that new wells can divert water from existing users, the Republicans have succeeded only in instilling unnecessary panic into a situation that requires thoughtful collaboration.

“This is no way to govern – and the result is a historic loss for our entire state.”