Dear friends and neighbors,
The 2023 legislative session officially ended last Sunday! In our final week, we passed three historic budgets that provide real relief, support and resources to our neighbors in the 47th District and communities throughout the state.
Each of our budgets — transportation, capital and operation — strengthens our state and places Washington in a strong position to lead the country in many sectors, from transportation to housing security to behavioral health resources.
Some specific investments I’m thrilled to see in the operating budget include:
- $417 million for special education students
- $35 million to increase support for foster care
- $44 million to fund an 8% increase to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD); and other cash assistance programs
- $40 million to fund the Working Families Tax Credit
- $36 million for salmon habitat and recovery
- $45 million for forest health and wildfire protection
The capital budget will continue to invest in our community where it is needed most. I am excited to share several of the district-wide projects that I advocated for included in this budget:
- $1,545,000 — Auburn Avenue Theater rebuild
- $998,000 — Auburn historic post office
- $2,054,000 — Soos Creek Hatchery Renovation (Auburn)
- $1,000,000 — East Hill North Community Park phase 1 (Kent)
- $794,000 — Indian American Community Services Center (Kent)
- $1,000,000 — LP Ruth Property at Clark Lake Park (Kent)
- $500,000 — LP Springwood Park renovation (Kent)
- $250,000 — Jenkins Creek Recreation Trail (Covington)
- $908,000 — LP SoCo Park Expansion (Covington)
Our transportation budget is designed to build upon the transformative package passed last session, further improving and expanding the way we travel in our state and community. Some of investments directed to the 47th District I’m excited to see include:
- $56,898,000 — SR 18, Auburn to I-90 corridor widening (Auburn)
- $7,000,000 — Meet Me on Meeker multimodal improvements (Kent)
- $800,000 — SR 516 pedestrian bridge (Covington)
I also helped ensure existing grant programs were codified in the transportation budget, including the Special Needs grant program, which is slated to receive $78 million. It assists transit agencies around the state in sustaining and expanding services to people with disabilities, helping ensure equitable access for all our neighbors.
All three budgets await the governor’s review and signature. Each take effect July 1 and will guide the state’s spending through 2025. You can find more budget details at fiscal.wa.gov.
Great news: Three of my bills have passed the Legislature, with two signed into law and one awaiting the governor’s signature.
- SB 5342 provides clarity to reflect that public transportation agencies are not required to execute interlocal agreements when purchasing buses from another state’s cooperative schedule contract.
- SB 5683 increases licensing accessibility for Tribal communities to further protect Indian Child Welfare in Washington — a cause near to my heart.
- SB 5742 is the policy piece that codifies the existing transportation grant programs mentioned above into state code.
Stay in touch
Thank you to everyone in our community who advocated for legislation this year. Your involvement is — and always has been — vital to the functioning of our state government.
Our office continues to be as available to you as ever. Send me an email at Claudia.Kauffman@leg.wa.gov, or call 360-786-7692. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@SenClaudiaKauffman) for updates throughout the interim.