Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent and ranking member on the state Capital Budget, issued this statement today on the Senate’s failure to pass a capital budget:
“Today the Legislature failed to pass a Capital Budget for the first time since 1996. We had a strong, bipartisan Capital Budget proposal from the House that could have passed and would have built vital infrastructure and created 2,500 family wage jobs for Washingtonians. But Senate Republicans blocked it.
“Our communities have needs that cannot wait. In Moses Lake, there is a dam that is failing. It needs fixing now, not someday. There was funding in this budget for that.
“Across our state, we have mentally ill Washingtonians who need evaluation and treatment. They need it today, not someday. There was funding in this budget for that.
“This proposal would have begun the cleanup of more than 30 toxic sites around the state, including Bellingham, Pasco, Camas-Washougal, Port Angeles, Tacoma, Shelton, Bothell and Dryden. It would have improved those communities and created valuable jobs there.
“This proposal would have used debt capacity that was authorized by two-thirds of this body in last year’s budget and still left $25 million in reserve. Instead, that money will collect dust while our needs go unmet. Why was this good policy last year but not this year?
“It’s time for Republicans to stop talking about jobs and actually do something about jobs. Not minimum-wage, part-time, poverty jobs but family wage jobs that build strong, healthy communities.
“Senate Republicans had a chance today to join Democrats and Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate and pass a package to put people to work, but instead they passed the buck.”