Rep. Mike Steele issues statement on finalized 2021-23 bipartisan capital budget

With just one day left in the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers unanimously approved a new two-year spending plan for capital projects around the state.

The final version of the 2021-23 capital budget allocates funding for critical infrastructure improvements including schools, public buildings, low-income housing, water infrastructure, state parks, and several others.

With a total spending plan of $6.3 billion, $3.9 billion of which is from the sale of general obligation bonds, the capital budget leaves $82 million in bond capacity for the 2022 supplemental capital budget.

Rep. Mike SteeleR-Chelan, ranking Republican member on the House Capital Budget Committee, was a lead negotiator and budget writer for the state's two-year construction spending plan, House Bill 1080.

With pandemic recovery efforts in mind, Steele noted that the bipartisan plan focused on incentivizing the economy and helping communities grow and thrive.

“I'm proud of the work that went into this plan. House and Senate legislators, from both sides of the aisle, prioritized projects that not only advance ongoing economic recovery efforts but also long-term renewal, health, and growth for rural communities and urban centers alike.

“The pandemic led to an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies. This highlighted the need for reliable internet services in many areas of the state. With the help of one-time federal funds, we were able to make sizeable investments in broadband internet access. Other bipartisan priority projects include low-income housing, behavioral health care at community and state-run mental health facilities, and community infrastructure improvements that will help generations of Washingtonians.”

Highlights of the 2021-23 capital budget, House Bill 1080, include:

  • $730.6 million for the K-12 School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP).
  • $200.7 million to begin construction of the behavioral health teaching hospital run by the University of Washington.
  • $95 million in Behavioral Health Capacity grants for community mental health services.
  • $74 million to increase capacity and service for civil and forensic patients at Western State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, and state-run community settings.
  • $51 million to design a new, 350-bed forensic hospital on the Western State Hospital campus.
  • $733 million, including $558.5 million in bonds, for the state's four-year institutions.
  • $129 million for the Public Works Board for grants and loans to local governments for infrastructure projects.
  • $326 million to the State Broadband Office for broadband infrastructure projects, including $50 million in bonds to leverage other federal funding.
  • $175 million for the Housing Trust Fund for low-income housing options.
  • $160 million for local and community projects statewide.
  • $72.6 million to the State Parks and Recreation Commission for improvements to state parks statewide, including the new state park in Nisqually.
  • $70 million for the Office of Chehalis Basin for projects to reduce flood damage and restore fish habitat.
  • $42 million for the Yakima River Basin.
  • $45 million for the Office of Columbia River.

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to end April 25.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov