State Sen. Mark Schoesler, the Senate Republican leader on the capital budget, issued this statement after the Legislature passed a new state capital budget for 2023-25. It funds the construction and maintenance of state buildings, public-school matching grants, higher-education facilities, public lands, parks, water infrastructure and other assets.
“This is a win for the people of Washington. It is truly a statewide budget that lives within our means and funds the priorities of government.
“This capital budget responds to needs all throughout our state and provides funding for important projects in a wide variety of categories, from affordable housing to K-12 and higher education, from water supply and water quality needs to salmon recovery, state parks and outdoor recreation.
“I’m pleased by the support for the many projects that will help our colleges and universities, and especially glad to see money for school seismic-safety grants, since Washington is in earthquake country. The funding for water-supply projects, which benefits agriculture and other water users, is a big plus as well.
“Our capital budget takes a statewide approach, as it should. It will benefit many communities throughout Washington.”
Overall, the state capital budget (Senate Bill 5200) appropriates a total of $9 billion in spending, including nearly $694 million for affordable-housing projects; $872 million for K-12 education projects; $1.5 billion in total funding for higher education; $884 million to address behavioral-health needs; and $2.4 billion for natural-resource projects that address water quality and supply, salmon recovery, outdoor recreation and conservation, state parks, state trust lands and more.
The Senate passed the capital budget 48-0 today after the House approved it 96-0 on Friday. It now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his consideration.
Schoesler, R-Ritzville, serves the 9th Legislative District.
The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to end tomorrow.