Washington Finally Has A Capital Budget

The state’s long-delayed capital budget finally passed both chambers of the Legislature in Olympia late Thursday night.  Dan Frizzell from thethe Washington State House Democratic Caucus has more.

The four-point-two-billion-dollar capital budget sailed through the House almost a year ago with good bipartisan support, but Republicans who ran the Senate wouldn’t allow that body to vote.  That move cost tens of thousands of jobs and delayed countless projects around the state.  But Thursday night, with control of the Senate back in Democratic hands, the capital budget got the votes it needed. Here’s Representative Steve Tharinger, the Dungeness Democrat who chairs the House panel that writes the capital budget, after the final vote.

THARINGER: “There’s over a billion dollars for K-12 school construction, almost 900 million for our four-year colleges, about a hundred million for affordable housing . . . these dollars are spread out very evenly across the state, and for about every million dollars that’s in the capital budget, we generate about 18 jobs.  If you take four-point-two billion and do the math, that’s a lot of jobs.” 

In other action Thursday, lawmakers OK’d a bill to solve a thorny problem surrounding private water wells, gave pregnant inmates access to midwives in prison, and set up a program to help military veterans in rural areas receive benefits and services they earned while in uniform.  Reporting from Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.