Rep. Mike Steele announces release of the 2021-23 House capital budget proposal

The House of Representatives released its 2021-23 capital budget proposal today. With a total spending plan of $5.7 billion, $3.5 billion of which is from the sale of general obligation bonds, it would leave $176 million in bond capacity for the 2022 supplemental capital budget.

Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan, ranking member of the House Capital Budget Committee, was the lead Republican negotiator and budget writer for the state's two-year construction spending plan. The 12th District lawmaker says projects included in the plan will provide significant relief to communities across that state that have suffered economically during the pandemic.

“It's was truly an honor to craft a capital budget plan that charts our state for recovery and future success. With the help of one-time federal funds, we're able to make significant investments in education, water, and broadband infrastructure,” said Steele. “Mental and behavioral health care was also prioritized by funding a new teaching hospital at the University of Washington, which will help educate the next generation of health professionals and provide much-needed help for patients.”

The capital budget makes appropriations for projects that have long useable life, such as schools and other public buildings. It is funded through general obligation bonds, dedicated cash accounts, federal funds, and alternative financing contracts.

With the recent passage of federal legislation, the state will receive funding available to be spent at its discretion. That funding includes $189 million from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, provided to enable work, education, and health monitoring, and $400 million from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Some highlights from the proposed capital budget, House Bill 1080, include:

  • $781.7 million for the K-12 School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP).
  • $679 million, including $504 million in bonds, for the state's four-year institutions.
  • $227 million for the Public Works Board for grants and loans to local governments for infrastructure projects.
  • $191 million to begin construction of the University of Washington teaching hospital.
  • $175 million for the Housing Trust Fund.
  • $94 million for local and community projects statewide.
  • $69.5 million to increase capacity and service for civil and forensic patients at Western State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, and state-run community settings.
  • $56.7 million to the State Parks and Recreation Commission for improvements to state parks statewide, including the new state park in Nisqually.
  • $33.7 million for the Yakima River Basin.
  • $31.7 million for the Office of the Columbia River.
  • $25.9 million for grants to increase enhanced shelter capacity.

The 105-day remote 2021 legislative session is scheduled to end April 25.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov