Fourth District lawmakers secure funding for local projects in supplemental capital budget

Today the Legislature approved mid-cycle updates to the state’s 2021-23 capital budget, which will fund several projects important to the 4th Legislative District.

Senate Bill 5651 was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 98-0, and cleared the Senate unanimously today. In the supplemental plan, there is $397,000 for a renovation of the lodge at Mount Spokane, $100,000 for the Newman Lake Milfoil Reduction plan and $200,000 for continued improvements at Felts Field airport.

“Fourth District taxpayers send a lot of their money to Olympia,” said Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “The capital budget brings some of that money back home to help fund important projects in our community, which also creates and preserves jobs.

“I am especially happy that we were able to secure funding for the improvements at Felts Field. The airport is utilized for many important local events, including celebrations of veterans and active-duty military, as well as gatherings to remember our fallen heroes. The Newman Lake Milfoil project continues our multiyear effort with the Newman Lake community to improve water quality in the lake.”

Padden’s Fourth District seatmates also applauded the capital-budget update.

“With this capital budget we’re making historic community investments,” said Rep. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley.  “While the operating budget takes care of day-to-day state government operations, the capital budget – or construction budget – makes targeted investments to build or improve projects that are used by our individual communities.  I’m pleased we were able to get funding for these needed projects and for the economic influx they will be for the Spokane region.”

Rep. Rob Chase, R-Spokane Valley, agreed.

“This capital spending plan protects our investments in the state’s infrastructure and provides maintenance and repair where it is needed most,” said Chase. “It is a bipartisan, balanced budget that invests locally in the communities in our region as well as all corners of Washington state.”

While the supplemental state capital budget usually makes only slight adjustments to the adopted two-year budget, this year’s measure is more substantial than normal due to federal infrastructure bill dollars. It authorizes an additional $1.5 billion in capital projects, of which $107.3 million is financed with state general obligation bonds. It also includes $650 million from a general-fund transfer into the Capital Community Assistance Account.

The largest investments made in the supplemental budget are in the areas of:

  • Housing ($440 million statewide);
  • Water ($251 million);
  • Infrastructure ($200 million);
  • Broadband ($100 million);
  • School Seismic ($100 million); and
  • Behavioral Health and Crisis Stabilization ($98 million).

More information about the supplemental capital budget can be found here.