The Senate Democrats’ proposed supplemental capital budget makes strong investments in housing, shelter, environmental cleanups and school construction.
“Supplemental capital budgets are always much smaller than in main budget years,” said Sen. David Frockt, vice chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate’s lead capital budget writer. “This year our budget only had $78 million in bond capacity. Nevertheless, our budget proposal spends nearly one-third of that capacity on shelter and affordable housing, reflecting Senate Democrats’ priority to assist our local partners who continue to struggle with the crisis.”
The proposal would provide $25 million to help alleviate homelessness — the largest investment of its kind ever in a supplemental capital budget. Of that funding, $15 million would go to increasing shelter capacity in areas where large numbers of people are experiencing chronic homelessness. The remaining $10 million is dedicated to maintaining affordability of existing housing.
“The supplemental capital budget we’ve proposed is a true reflection of the needs of Washington state,” said Sen. Mark Mullet, vice chair of the capital budget. “Our communities need more access to affordable housing and to shelter beds. This investment will make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors.”
These investments build upon last year’s capital budget, which invested records sums in housing and behavioral health treatment facilities.
The proposal invests $31.2 million in toxics cleanup and stormwater assistance to local governments, using funds generated by a measure passed during the 2019 legislative session. This bill sponsored by Frockt changed the way petroleum companies are taxed under the Model Toxics Control Act.
School construction projects receive $58.3 million statewide, and an additional $15 million funds is included for seismic safety improvements in K-12 schools.
The full proposal can be found here. The budget will be heard at 3:30 p.m. today in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.