Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. Stronger Washington

The Washington State House of Representatives today unanimously approved a final 2024 supplemental capital budget.

The $1.33 billion spending plan invests heavily in K-12 school construction, mental health facilities, housing, and early learning facilities.

As the ranking member on the House Capital Budget CommitteeRep. Peter Abbarno is the lead Republican negotiator and author of the capital budget.  

“I appreciate the hard work and compromise from both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate,” said Abbarno, R-Centralia. “This community-up, not Olympia-down, budget will make smart investments in communities across Washington state on bipartisan priorities like behavioral healthcare, substance abuse treatment facilities, K-12 education, and home ownership.”

Statewide highlights from Senate Bill 5949 include:

  • K-12 school construction
    • $ 115 million for the Small District and Tribal Compact Schools Modernization program, which provides planning and construction grants for school districts with fewer than 1,000 students and that have significant building deficiencies.
    • $79.2 million to increase the construction cost allocation from $271.61 per square foot to $375.00 per square foot in FY 2025.
      • This is used to determine the maximum cost per square foot of construction that the state will recognize in the School Construction Assistance Program.
    • $45 million to improve school districts’ indoor air quality and energy efficiency, with much of the grant funds going to school districts with 3,000 enrollments or fewer.
    • $68.2 million for Career and Technical Education projects at Skills Centers and Technical Schools, including Tri-Tech Skills Center and Wenatchee Valley Technical Skills Center.
    • $1 million for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a proposal to modify and improve the School Construction Assistance Program with input from the legislature, governor, and other K-12 stakeholders. The proposal must consider variation in district sizes and financial capacity, in addition to other factors.
  • Behavioral health treatment
    • $82.7 million for grants to community behavioral health projects across the state.
    • $16.2 million to purchase and renovate the former Daybreak Youth Services building, for Madrona Recovery to operate a behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facility for youth.
    • $5 million for the design of 20 new beds for youth housing at the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood.
  • Housing
    • $127.5 million for the Housing Trust Fund, including:
      • $20 million for homeownership opportunities;
      • $19 million for housing for those with developmental disabilities; and
      • $15 million for the acquisition and preservation of mobile homes.
    • $55 million for multifamily building efficiency grants.
  • Department of Commerce Community Grant Programs
    • $26.6 million for the Early Learning Facilities grant program to expand access to affordable childcare.
    • $72.5 million for local and community projects statewide.
  • Natural Resources
    • $22.2 million to the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board to continue assisting local governments in removing fish barriers and restoring fish passage.
    • $11.1 million to the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program for the restoration of shorelines and nearshore habitat critical to salmon.
    • $10 million for wildfire reforestation grants, furthering carbon sequestration by helping public and private forests regrow lost trees due to wildfire.
    • $7.9 million for the Washington Coastal Restoration and Resiliency Initiative program, restoring shorelines and habitat on the coast.

About 10% ($130.5 million) of this supplemental budget is funded with general obligation bonds. Article VIII, Section I of the Washington State Constitution requires a three-fifths vote to contract debt, which was authorized during the 2023 session.

“The high vote hurdle for borrowing money in the state’s constitution encourages Democrats and Republicans to work together,” added Abbarno. “When Republicans are actively engaged in the decision-making process, the outcome serves the best interests of the entire state.”

The four-year veteran on the House Capital Budget Committee, and now ranking member, also worked with his seatmates, Senator John Braun and Representative Ed Orcutt to help secure critical investments to the 20th Legislative District, including:

  • $5.446 million to replace and upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units in living units and workspaces at Green Hill School, which are at the end of their useful life.
  • $4.9 million for a Cowlitz PUD landfill methane capture project.
  • $1.950 million for the Boys & Girls Club of Lewis County’s United Learning Center.
    • These funds will help build a childcare center at the Boys & Girls Club to provide a safe and educational place for kids to learn and play.
  • $1.154 million for the Cascadia Tech Natural Resources Learning Center in Kalama in partnership with Kalama High School.
    • Once built, students will experience hands-on learning and workforce education.
  • $250,000 for remodeling the La Center Wheel Club Community Center, making needed improvements to allow the facility to hold more community events and classes.
  • $206,000 for the Southwest Washington Fair and Equestrian Center to design a new covered equestrian center and barns with a future goal of holding equestrian, 4-H, and rodeo events year-round.
  • $62,000 for a Kalama Community Building architectural survey to understand the scope and scale of preservation and renovation required to ensure its longevity.
    • This will measure the building’s mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems and conduct an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) feasibility survey.

The bill is now on its way to the Senate for concurrence. After concurrence, it will go to the governor to be signed into law.

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