Senate capital budget invests in schools, recreation, job creation

The state Senate released a bipartisan capital-budget proposal today for 2015-17 which builds over 2,100 classroom20150406_145159abs, fully funds 80 parks and trails, and devotes $60 million to local-government infrastructure projects statewide. The $3.9 billion plan would fund the acquisition, construction and maintenance of capital assets across Washington – such as schools and projects with recreational and economic-development value.

“The Senate’s proposal is an investment in the people of Washington,” said Bailey. “The plan funds our parks which are attractive destinations for tourism and will provide an economic activity for communities. We are also addressing the mental-health crisis in our state by including $30 million in grants to expand community behavioral health beds.”

With $254 million more directed to public schools than the House proposal, the Senate plan seeks to support student-achievement efforts by building additional classrooms, the largest chunk being aimed at kindergarten through third grade.

“Our recent operating budget puts education first. Part of that is reducing class sizes where science demonstrates the best outcomes. This capital budget works in concert with that philosophy by investing nearly $1 billion over the next six years to build over 2,100 classrooms for these students.”

All public-works-board list projects are funded through the Senate proposal, which supports local infrastructure and provides family-wage construction jobs.

“This budget is about creating jobs and vital infrastructure across the state,” said Bailey. “This is a significant investment in our state’s future with nearly half of the proposed $3.9 billion going toward education. I am proud to support our communities’ ability to grow, create jobs and invest in local priorities.”

The legislation will be a striking amendment to Engrossed House Bill 1115 which received a public hearing at noon today in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

You can click here to view a list of projects and locations that are funded in the Senate’s proposed capital budget.