The Senate today released a $3.3 billion 2009-2011 capital budget aimed at funding K-12 and higher education infrastructure projects, creating jobs and building quality communities.
The budget is $700 million less than the governor's proposed budget and about $1.3 billion, or 29 percent, less than the 2007-2009 biennium.
"This budget is about honoring our capital commitments to our schools and putting people to work," said Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Thurston County. "Our spending is directed at projects that are 'ready to go' and will build the infrastructure for tomorrow's economy."
- K-12 construction assistance programs are fully funded.
- Higher education receives $1.01 billion for projects. Each major institution of higher education has a major construction project included in the budget.
- Temporary Public Works Grant program. The budget supports local government infrastructure projects with $115 million in state bonds for grants and $107 million in federal stimulus dollars.
- $743 million in cash is transferred from cash accounts, including the Public Works Trust Fund, to the operating budget to fund key programs. If we did not move this money to the operating budget, we would have to do the equivalent of completely eliminating the Basic Health Plan.
Closures and Project Suspensions
- McNeil Island Corrections Center is assumed to be closed under this budget proposal. Prisoners would be transferred to less costly facilities to achieve long-term savings to taxpayers. This will save the state as much as $12,000 annually per prisoner as it costs $37,431 to house an offender for a year at McNeil compared to $24,119 in our newer facilities.
- New school district skills centers are not funded because of budget constraints.
- The Heritage Center, which was intended to be built with revenue from state and local document fees, is put on hold while we explore ways to make sure the center can be self-sustaining. The fees that would have funded this project have plummeted along with the economy.
Higher Education Innovation Investments
- Each major state university gets at least one major construction project.
- The University of Washington receives $198,969 million.
- In addition, UW is authorized to issue Certificates of Participation (COPs) to build a Molecular Engineering Building -- $53 million.
- Washington State University receives $115,686 million.
- In addition, WSU is authorized to issue to issue Certificates of Participation (COPs) to build infrastructure for the Global Animal Health Building-$10 million. And, Biomedical Sciences Facility-$95 million.
Federal stimulus money
- $61 Million for weatherization
- $69 Million for sewer and wastewater
- $38 Million for drinking water
- $144 in federal funding for local housing