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Bipartisan Funding Bill for Chehalis Basin Flood Mitigation Passes House!
Author: peterabbarno
February 16, 2020

House Bill 1154, sponsored by Rep. Richard DeBolt, passed virtually unanimously on Sunday night in a strong bipartisan manner.

The legislation authorizes the State Finance Committee to issue up to $700 million in general obligation bonds to finance Chehalis Basin flood damage reduction and aquatic species habitat restoration projects and create the Chehalis Basin Taxable Account. The bill moves to the State Senate!

Catastrophic flooding is one of the most important issues facing our community in Lewis County and throughout the Chehalis Basin. Past floods have cost our community financially and emotionally; and the threat of future flooding holds our community back from reaching its full potential.

Although it has been over 10 years since the last catastrophic event, the effects of the past flooding and fear of future flooding have negatively impacted our region. This funding will guarantee work continues on small- and large-scale flood mitigation projects throughout the basin. Thank you Rep. Richard DeBolt and the Chehalis Basin Board.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, business owner, attorney, and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.

In 2007, the catastrophic flooding event in the Chehalis Basin caused $9 billion in economic impact to the state, including devastating the agricultural industry in the area and shutting down Interstate 5 and the main rail line between Mexico and Canada, and brought trauma and tragedy to the community. In 2016, the Legislature established the Office of the Chehalis Basin (Office) in the Department of Ecology (Ecology). Its purpose is to aggressively pursue implementation of an integrated strategy and to administer funding for long-term flood damage reduction and aquatic species restoration in the Chehalis River Basin (Basin).

I strongly support this long-term vision and commitment to our community. This is a very smart investment when you consider the last flood cost the community $9 billion and it is only a matter of time before the next catastrophic flood. This shows a strong bipartisan commitment to funding a comprehensive solution.

The City of Centralia, City of Chehalis, Aberdeen, and many other communities have already benefitted from funding for small flood mitigation projects and this legislation helps guarantee the work continues. Home owners, land owners, and businesses need to know their family, property, and business is safe from flooding, destruction, and ruin.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, business owner, attorney, and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.

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