Tag Archives: 2016 capital budget

IN THE NEWS: Meeting on water needs planned for Thursday in Yakima

Yakima Herald Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — State lawmakers are seeking the public’s perspective on how Washington should invest in water management for the future at a meeting in Yakima on Thursday.

It’s part of a $250,000 study to understand the “economic consequences of investing – and not investing – in water infrastructure and fisheries habitat” projects around the state.

It was sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, and Sen. Karen Kaiser, D-Kent.

Honeyford has been urging lawmakers to address the issue for several years because the infrastructure that delivers irrigation to farms, prevents floods, and shunts stormwater off city streets are key parts of the state’s economy. Unlike transportation infrastructure, for example, there’s no dedicated funding plan for such systems.

Lawmakers included the study in the 2016 supplemental capital budget.

The conclusions are expected to help state lawmakers best allocate limited funds to support economic development, protect water quality, and restore fish habitat.

Two identical public meetings will be held in Yakima on Thursday, at 3:30 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m., at the Southeast Community Center, located at 1211 S. 7th St. in Yakima.

The original article, published Sept. 20, 2016, can be found here.


Children, environment, mental-health treatment win in sensible supplement to state’s capital budget

Today the Senate agreed with the House of Representatives and approved an update to the state capital budget that will provide funding for new classrooms, mental-health support and environmental cleanup, all without tapping the state’s rainy-day fund. The bipartisan measure was endorsed with a vote of 39-10.

“This past year lawmakers made significant progress on class-size reductions for our state’s youngest learners. Today my colleagues and I agreed to invest an additional $34.5 million toward building more classrooms so that progress can become reality,” said Sen. Jim Honeyford, capital-budget chair.

In addition to funding for construction of classrooms, $5.5 million is provided for the Department of Enterprise Services to purchase modular classrooms for five school districts to further support K-3 class-size reductions. The modular buildings will be constructed of cross-laminated lumber as part of a pilot program encouraging the use of local mass-timber products.

“Supporting mental-health treatment by improving care at our state hospitals and providing more community-based treatment beds for our most vulnerable citizens was important to legislators as we worked through this supplemental budget. We agreed on a plan that does both,” said Sen. Karen Keiser, Democratic capital-budget leader.

The Department of Social and Health Services is slated to receive $7.9 million for institution-based mental-health facilities, including a new ward at Western State Hospital in Pierce County. Another $7.5 million is directed to both urban and rural communities to develop facilities to assist patients as they transition from state hospitals.

“This budget prioritized a number of critical toxic-cleanup projects that were on the verge of being shelved because declining oil prices had reduced revenue in the Model Toxic Control Act account. Now these projects will be able to move forward with stable funding,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

The Department of Ecology’s Centennial Clean Water program will receive $2.5 million for grants that allow communities to plan, design, acquire and construct water pollution-control facilities.

“I am encouraged by the progress all parties involved were able to make as we came to agreement for this year’s capital budget,” said Keiser, D-Kent. “Although much work remains to be done moving forward, especially relating to major funding gaps for public infrastructure, this budget creates common ground as we look ahead to 2017.”

The measure, House Bill 2380, is now headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.