16th District lawmakers secure nearly $13 million more for local projects in 2024-25 supplemental capital and transportation budgets

The Legislature has completed its work on the state’s 2024-25 supplemental capital budget, which received unanimous support in the Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday. The biennial construction, repair, and infrastructure funding plan, Senate Bill 5949, appropriates $1.33 billion in additional funding.

The state’s supplemental transportation budget (HB 2134) for 2023-25 was adopted today as one of the final actions lawmakers took before adjourning for the year.

Sen. Perry Dozier and Reps. Skyler Rude and Mark Klicker, who helped secure the funding for the 16th Legislative District, were pleased to see the support for many important projects moving forward in their district, including:

  • $1.5 million for the Columbia Valley Center for Recovery, on top of the $5 million allocated for it in 2023.
  • $2.55 million for the Lions Park Community Center.
  • $175,000 for the YWCA Walla Walla Childcare Center.
  • $105,000 for the new Prosser Clubhouse.
  • $98,000 for resurfacing and revitalizing the Prescott public pool.
  • $100,000 for the new Waitsburg Childcare Center.
  • $1.13 million for College Place Fire Department energy-efficiency upgrades.
  • $4.6 million for fire protection and smoke dampers at the Washington State Penitentiary’s Intensive Management Unit.
  • $196,000 million for designing the Mill Creek fish passage from Colville Street to Third Avenue in Walla Walla.

“Knowing how access to treatment is so critical to fighting the drug epidemic, it’s great that we were able to add funding for the Columbia Valley Center for Recovery,” said Dozier, R-Waitsburg, “but I’m particularly glad about the funding for the childcare center in Waitsburg and the Prosser Boys and Girls Clubhouse. These projects will pay huge dividends for families in those communities, and the people who have worked so hard to make those happen absolutely deserve this support.” 

Rude, R-Walla Walla, praised the bipartisan endeavors reflected in this budget.

“Thanks to a collaborative, bipartisan effort, we’ve strategically allocated funds across the 16th District to tackle vital areas such as behavioral and mental health, early learning, public safety, and environmental stewardship. This supplemental budget proves that when we work together, we achieve common goals that benefit our district and all of Washington state.”

Klicker, R-Walla Walla, emphasized why these projects are significant for the prosperity of the 16th District.

“All of these projects are going to help our district and have a significant impact on our communities. I’m grateful to the House Capital Budget Committee for helping us secure these important funds. From creating more child care options to helping fish, agriculture, and our first responders, this money will make the 16th District a better place to live for everyone. I’m especially happy to see so much funding going towards people struggling with substance abuse or behavioral health disorders.”

The final 2024-25 supplemental capital budget will spend $1.33 billion, with $130.6 million coming from the sale of general obligation bonds. The remaining $1.2 billion is from a combination of cap-and-trade (Climate Commitment Act) revenue, Common School Construction Fund, and other state and federal accounts. It leaves $547,000 in bond capacity.

The budget makes significant investments in K-12 school construction, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facilities, housing, early learning facilities, infrastructure, and other projects in local communities across the state. Highlights of the 2024-25 supplemental capital budget include:

  • $148.8 million for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment, new community capacity, institutional or state-run capacity, and upgrades and maintenance to existing facilities.
  • $183.64 million for housing with maintenance and upgrades for new housing units and upgrades to existing units.
  • $128.64 million for new housing projects.
  • $335.2 million for K-12 school construction, not including reduction in SCAP for projects that did not materialize or move forward.
  • $127.86 million for higher education.
  • $210.87 million for natural resources.

In addition to the nearly $11 million from the capital budget, the three legislators also secured an additional $2.2 million for the SR 224/Red Mountain vicinity improvement project.

“When we left the Capitol after the 2023 session, with a $5 million appropriation for this very important project, we viewed it as shovel-ready – until the state Department of Transportation balked and said no, that’s not enough,” Dozier explained. “With this additional money in hand, I expect it will finally be time to cut the ribbon and get to work.”

“This transportation funding is crucial for our district. I’m glad we could secure the money for this important improvement project,” said Rude.

Furthermore, the transportation conference report includes language for the Department of Licensing (DOL) to recommend improved rural access to driver education. Klicker was responsible for this request, which is a proviso related to young drivers, and he hopes it will lead to bigger things.

“This language is important because it could lead to the DOL making recommendations that could spawn future legislation,” said Klicker. “We have a lot of younger drivers out in our rural areas, and we need to make sure they are practicing safe driving. I hope to file a bill that could lead to better driver education opportunities for our teens.”

The 2024 legislative session is schedule to end on Thursday, March 7.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov