Dear friends and neighbors,

The 2021 Legislature adjourned last night after a 105-day mostly-remote session that was unique in many ways. While it was conducted mostly on Zoom, we managed to complete our work efficiently and deliver several historic policies to improve life here in Kitsap and across the state.

In the coming weeks, I will send more updates on the highlights from this session, but first I want to share news on a few grants available now to help people recover and focus on highlights from the state’s capital construction budget.

Help for small businesses, individuals

These grants are available right now to help working households and small business owners get back on their feet after an extremely challenging year.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund: The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. The program provides restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business. Visit www.sba.gov/restaurants for application instructions.

Grants for childcare providers: The Department of Children, Youth and Families is providing direct support to licensed childcare providers to offset increased costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure childcare services are available to families. The application is open through May 20 to all licensed childcare providers who are actively providing care. Visit https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/coronavirus-covid-19/early-learning/covid19-grant-spring21 for application instructions.

Immigrant relief fund: In February, Gov. Inslee signed House Bill 1368 to provide an additional $65 million of federal CARES Act funding to support people impacted by the pandemic but who are ineligible for federal stimulus money or unemployment benefits because of their immigration status. Visit https://www.immigrantreliefwa.org/ for application instructions.

Big wins for Kitsap in capital budget

A number of Kitsap communities will benefit from the state construction budget we passed today off the Senate floor. This budget, separate from both the transportation and operating budgets, supports infrastructure such as buildings for local governments and nonprofits, trails, affordable housing, and many other local community needs.

Community investments

There is much to celebrate locally in this year’s capital budget, including securing open space in Silverdale, much-needed improvements for the Buxton Center for Bainbridge Performing Arts, more affordable housing units, funding to continue important estuary and salmon restoration projects, and several improvements to local parks. Here are a few highlights:

  • $1.6 million for repairs and upgrades to the Bainbridge Performing Arts
  • $515,000 for the Manette affordable housing project in Bremerton
  • $200,000 for improvements at Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers
  • $321,000 for improvements at Madrona Day Treatment School in Bremerton
  • $2 million to enable Kitsap County to acquire eight acres of open space and wildlife habitat in the heart of Silverdale
  • $594,000 for improvements at Chief Kitsap Academy
  • $3.9 million for continued cleanup and upgrades to the groundwater treatment plant at the Wyckoff Superfund Site
  • $500,000 for the “Old Town” Silverdale marina to increase public access to the waterfront, remove derelict rock debris, and enhance the beach area
  • $500,000 to develop waterfront access improvements to port facilities at the Illahee Dock
  • Nearly $1 million for Puget Sound estuary and salmon restoration, including restoration design at Point No Point Park and restoration work at Rose Point
  • $500,000 for Play for All at Raab Park in Poulsbo
  • $750,000 for improvements at Hidden Cove to provide additional water access and public shoreline use
  • $350,000 for development and lighting at Warrior Ridge Sports Park on Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal land

State-wide investments

The entire statewide capital budget we passed includes $6.3 billion for important investments to expand broadband internet access, increase the state’s supply of affordable housing, improve behavioral health, build new schools, safeguard natural resources, and invest in underserved communities.

  • $930 million in school construction funding, including $42 million in modernization grants for small districts and Tribal compact schools.
  • $411 million to expand broadband internet access to rural and underserved areas
  • $428 million for behavioral health facilities, including $200.8 million for the University of Washington’s new Behavioral Health Teaching Facility
  • $350 million for affordable housing grants and loans
  • $120 million to establish a Rapid Housing Acquisition program
  • $386 million for recreation, conservation and salmon recovery projects
  • $745 million for clean-water efforts and toxics cleanup
  • $73 million for overall investment in state parks, including the new Nisqually State Park
  • $13.6 million for a new dedicated Community Relief Fund that invests in projects in underserved communities

I look forward to watching all of these new investments take shape in the coming months and years. I want to thank all the community partners who have worked so hard to make these projects a reality and have advocated for funding. Without you, this progress isn’t possible. Please reach out to me with any questions at Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov.

Stay safe and healthy,

Christine