Dear Friends and Neighbors,
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As I mentioned last week, I have been assigned to three policy committees as part of my legislative duties. The Capital Budget Committee, the Business and Financial Services Committee which handles licensing and business regulations and the Education Committee which considers issues related to K-12 education.
Last week I focused on the Education committee, and this week I want to highlight the Capital Budget Committee.
Many people don’t realize that there are actually three budgets we consider every two years in Olympia. Those three budgets are the Transportation budget, the Operating budget and the Capital budget of 3.6 billion dollars.
The Capital Budget
The Capital Budget provides money for the construction and repair of public buildings and for other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers. In addition, the budget provides state money that is either given or loaned to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing, and other facilities. I have been appointed as the Assistant Ranking Member of the House Capital Budget Committee.
Many of the programs associated with the Capital Budget come to us after first being analyzed at the state department level. This process is rigorous and helps to prioritize projects by need and scheduling. While working on the Capital Budget, I will be fair to the state budgeting process, but I’ll always keep in mind the types of projects that are important to the 12th District.
The Capital Budget Committee will likely prioritize school construction funding to assist projects approved by local voters. I believe preserving these school construction assistance funds is vital to making sure our students get a great education in a safe, up-to-date building. An example of a local school district benefiting from state matching dollars includes the Eastmont School District for their ongoing building renovations.
The Capital Budget also funds the Public Works Assistance Account, also known as the Public Works Trust Fund. This program provides low-interest loans to local governments that have public works needs and projects are
ranked by the Department of Commerce. Many 12th District projects are being considered for this low-interest loan program, including the Cities of Bridgeport, Chelan, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, and Winthrop.
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program is another competitive program funded through the Capital Budget. This is a state grant program that provides funding to protect habitat, preserve working farms and create new local and state parks. This program has helped to fund many projects in the 12th District in over the years.
In closing, I understand the importance of Capital projects in the 12th District, and I plan to make sure our district continues to receiving funding for capital projects.
Thanks for joining me this week, I look forward to speaking to you again soon.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000