OLYMPIA — Passage of the capital budget on Jan. 18 directs much needed funding to the 34th Legislative District, and to Washington as a whole, said Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island. The budget will invest more than $4 billion in necessary, life-changing projects statewide.
“The capital budget represents one of the greatest investments we can make in Washington and in Washingtonians,” Nelson said. “Thousands of family wage jobs, school construction, affordable housing, environmental improvements, mental health enhancements and investments will now finally be delivered to communities across our state.”
For the first time in decades, the Legislature failed to pass a biennial capital budget in 2017 after Republicans tied it to an unrelated 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.
“For far too long, the people and communities who desperately needed these investments were caught up in a game of brinksmanship and political ideology,” Nelson said. “There are no winners when the needs of real people are used as leverage.”
“I’m proud of our new majority and the quick manner in which we acted to get this critical legislation agreed to and passed. This is the right way to do business. Let’s work together, negotiate through our differences and truly put people first in all the work we do.”
The 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 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.
On Vashon and Maury islands the capital budget will fund:
• $100,000 for the Coldeen Property gas station (a component of the leaking tank model remedies program, which received about $1.1 million statewide)
• $250,000 for the Historic Mukai Farm and Garden restoration project
• $3 million for NeighborCare Health
• $2 million for Maury Island Open Space Remediation