Washington Governor Approves $18 Billion for Construction and Transportation

On Tuesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) signed into law a number of bills, including a $59 billion budget covering the next two years.

Source : Governor Jay Inslee

May 19, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

Included in the state construction budget is funding for the construction of 33 new schools as well as buildings for community college campuses and behavioral health facilities.

“Grants for local school districts will help them construct and modernize 33 K-12 school facilities,” Inslee said during a press conference.

Some $930 million will go towards constructing K-12 schools; $531 million for universities; and $515 million for community colleges and higher technical education “to construct or modernize 19 facilities and maintain education facilities at the 34 community and technical colleges throughout the state.”

”School buildings with high seismic risks can use grants for upgrades and retrofits to lower this risk,” Gov. Inslee said.

The Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth “will also be able to replace its 60 to 80-year-old buildings by constructing a new academic and physical education building in Vancouver,” he added.

Meanwhile, $428 million is being put towards behavioral health facilities, with $200.8 million of that for a partnership on a new Behavioral Health Teaching Facility at the University of Washington. 

Other planned facilities include a new 120-bed nursing facility at the Fircrest School in Shoreline, a 350-bed forensic psychiatric hospital at the Western State hospital campus, as well as a 16-bed and 48-bed a “civil community,” the governor said.

Breaking the numbers down further, $6.3 billion will go towards priority state infrastructure and $11.8 billion is devoted to transportation.

The construction budget will also help the state construct and renovate affordable housing units, the governor said.

The transportation budget will focus on creating jobs in highway construction, he said, adding “This will help fill a huge need in our workforce while supporting our equity efforts to engage more minorities, women and individuals in juvenile rehabilitation and foster communities in these jobs.”

The governor said the funding will also help with the removal of fish passage barriers. The governor also aims to replace 13 state ferries over the next 20 years, and called for them to be electric-powered.

The governor said his administration was thankful for federal funds from the American Rescue Plan which helped cover pandemic-related revenue losses, like fuel tax revenues and toll fares, in the state’s transportation budget.

Category : Diversity Outreach Investment in Infrastructure State Government Schools

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