Dear friends and neighbors,
The 2023 legislative session has concluded, and these past few months have been a time of immense progress and accomplishment.
Much of our legislature’s attention has been devoted to finalizing three budgets: operating, capital, and transportation. These budgets provide significant funding that will be allocated to projects and organizations across our state and in the 49th Legislative District.
This year, the Legislature passed a $69.3 billion operating budget that will fund critical services across Washington. Investments are being made in behavioral health care, public schools, and affordable housing.
Highlights of this budget include:
- $270 million for a rate increase for behavioral health providers
- $122 million for additional behavioral health bed capacity
- $21 million for behavioral health crisis, outreach, and diversion programs
- $28 million for youth behavioral health
- $521 million for salary adjustments and healthcare cost increases for K-12 educators
- $417 million for special education students
- $85 million to expand access to free meals for students
- $140 million for emergency housing and rental assistance
- $150 million for the covenant homeownership program
The capital budget invests $8.9 billion for construction and infrastructure across the state, including right here in the greater Vancouver area. I fought for numerous projects to be funded and am proud to have secured more than $34 million to be distributed to affordable housing, school construction, and community projects across our district.
These projects include:
- $15.3 million for building and renovation costs at the Washington Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth
- $5.1 million in renovation, repair and preservation projects for our local community and technology colleges
- $3.5 million for the Port of Vancouver dock demolition and creosote removal
- $2.5 million for the Columbia River Mental Health Services’ building project
- $2.1 million for campus preservation at the Washington State School for the Blind
- $1.6 million for a new roof at the Vancouver Crime Lab
- $1.4 million for the Cascadia Technical Academy
- $874,000 for the Vancouver Logistics Facility
- $685,000 for the Marshall Park Inclusive Community Playground
- $515,000 for the Columbia Play Project Children’s Museum in Vancouver
- $412,000 for seismic upgrades and roof replacement at the Boys & Girls Club of Vancouver
- $175,000 for the General Oliver Otis Howard House
- $101,000 for repairs and renovations at the YWCA Clark County Community Office
- $7,000 for the Magenta Theater
Improving traffic safety was our top goal when crafting the transportation budget. This year’s budget increases safe routes to school, improves busy intersections, and dedicates additional funding to the I-5 Interstate Bridge Replacement project.
This budget includes project funding across our community for the next several years. Investments for the 2023-25 biennium include:
- $275 million for corridor improvements on I-5
- $275 million for the I-5 Interstate Bridge Replacement Project
- $12.4 million for regional mobility grants
- $12 million for corridor improvements on SR 14 between Clark and Skamania Counties
- $12 million for auxiliary lanes on SR 14 from I-205 to SE 164th Ave
Additional funding can be found at this link.
These budgets will bring significant enhancements to both our state and district. We will see the benefit for years to come in job creation, economic growth, stronger infrastructure and additional services. I hope you will join me in my excitement and anticipation for the future, as these investments support greater opportunity for us all.
All my best,
Sen. Annette Cleveland