House Capital Budget Includes $1 billion Investment in Schools

The state House unveiled a record-setting bipartisan construction budget Wednesday in Olympia.  Dan Frizzell has that story in this audio report produced by the Washington State House Democratic Caucus:

The state capital budget pays for big things that last a long time , and it usually gets written and OK’d without a lot of the partisan fireworks that happen around the operating budget. Representative Steve Tharinger, the Sequim Democrat who heads up the Capital Budget Committee, says that’s partly because its main source of revenue comes from bond sales rather than direct taxes, but it also helps that the capital budget doesn’t get involved in the kind of hot-button issues that push people into opposing camps.  Tharinger likes that just fine.

“The documents are worked on in a very bipartisan way.  We do over a billion dollars in K-12, and then we spend over $800 million for higher education.  $5 million set aside for broadband expansion in the rural areas.  We also spend in the natural resource area, very much a bipartisan process.” 

Tharinger doesn’t brag about it here, but that billion dollars for K-12 schools is a state record. He plans to hold a public hearing on the capital budget on Thursday and a vote by the full House could come as early as Monday. Reporting from the state Capitol, I’m Dan Frizzell.