Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released this statement today:
“I am pleased to report that late yesterday, in bipartisan four-corner negotiations, Republicans and Democrats reached a full agreement on a capital budget for the next two fiscal years.
“This $4 billion dollar budget will create thousands of jobs in all parts of our state, from rural to urban, from red to blue districts. It provides state matching funds for over $1 billion in school construction projects already approved at the local level, and hundreds of millions of dollars in buildings for our higher education system from the community college level to our four-year system.
“This incudes, for example, $67 million for an important new science building at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, where they are making great strides in turning out more STEM graduates for our growing economy. At UW, meanwhile, the budget provides matching funds for the new Population Health Science building, leveraging the UW’s partnership with the Gates Foundation to become the world leader in global health. The agreed budget invests in local housing projects across the Puget Sound region, including areas like Shelton, through modular housing and tiny home projects to help address our homeless crisis around the state.
“In other areas, the budget builds on our mental health system by providing new facilities in a number of regions where the lack of treatment options is acute and where the state is under court order to find remedies. It invests in critical water infrastructure and flood control projects east of the mountains while also providing record investments in stormwater controls and conservation and restoration on the west side. It provides much-needed dollars for prescribed forest thinning and burns in order to mitigate future wildfires and their economic costs.
“These are but a few of the key areas in the budget but they demonstrate the broad appeal that this legislation will have across the state, in all regions, where Washingtonians have come to us from their home communities and called for the Legislature to work together on these investments. There is no doubt that it will have near unanimous support among legislators.
“It is time to act on this fully agreed-upon budget by the end of this special session tomorrow night and get this critical piece of legislation passed so that our fellow citizens can go to work in their home communities and building a more prosperous Washington.”