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Supporters laud affordable housing, mental health in House capital budget hearing

by caprecord

Affordable housing, mental health, schools and more will get funding for construction projects over the next two years as part of the proposed House capital budget.

The House capital budget authorizes $3.8 billion in spending for state and local construction projects in Washington through 2017. The funding comes from $2.1 billion in bonds and $1.6 billion from other funds.

Separately, the House also proposed a $38 billion operating budget for the next two years. The hearing on the operating budget was held Monday afternoon.

The House Capital Budget committee heard the bill Monday morning.

Among the projects on the capital budget list is $80 million dollars for thousands of new affordable housing units, $55 million for state parks, $65 million dollars in state mental health facilities and $11 million for local mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities.

A project on Dabob Bay's shoreline has funding the proposed 2015-17 House Capital Budget. (Photo by Washington Department of Natural Resources via Flickr.)
A project on Dabob Bay’s shoreline has funding the proposed 2015-17 House Capital Budget. (Photo by Washington Department of Natural Resources, Flickr.)

Supporters were happy about the money allocated to mental health programs, the Housing Trust Fund and several programs that will help people with low incomes to pay to make their homes more energy efficient.

“Thank you for the support for people struggling in this state,” said Merritt Mount of the Community Action Partnership.

The budget sets aside $5 million to replace the Marysville Pilchuck High School cafeteria. The community has wanted the cafeteria replaced after a student fatally shot four others and himself there last year.

However, others made the case for increased funding for K-12 school buildings, industrial site cleanup and a new computer science building at the University of Washington.

Full project lists are available at the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program (LEAP) website.

The hearing is in TVW’s archives.

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