35th District lawmakers release statements on 2021-23 capital and transportation budgets

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Nick Jacob, Senior Public Information Officer for Rep. Drew MacEwen | 360-786-5097
Kent Livingston, Public Information Officer for Rep. Dan Griffey | 360-786-7031

35th District lawmakers release statements on 2021-23 capital and transportation budgets

On Saturday, the Washington State Legislature passed the 2021-23 capital budget. The $6.3 billion budget will fund various construction projects throughout the state, making significant investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure with the help of one-time federal funds.

Thirty-fifth District Reps. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, and Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, worked to secure more than $25 million in local project funding. Some of the investments include:

  • $8.8 million for improvements at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton and the Mission Creek Corrections Center in Belfair;
  • $2.05 million to rehabilitate and re-equip Well 1 and convert the water transmission main in Shelton;
  • $2.05 million for the design and construction of a 750,000-gallon in-ground storage tank at the satellite wastewater treatment plant in Shelton;
  • $1.49 million for grants for a range of land protection and outdoor recreation projects in Yelm and Rochester;
  • $1.29 million for Shelton Youth Connection for renovations and to add 12 age-appropriate housing options for young adults experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness;
  • $900,000 for grants to support cleanup efforts at the Shelton C Street Landfill;
  • $835,000 to provide fiber optic infrastructure to increase capacity at each cell tower in the Gold Mountain Communications Zone in Bremerton;
  • $344,000 for restoration efforts at the Sargent Oyster House in Allyn;
  • $82,000 to provide additional space at the Turning Pointe Survivor Advocacy Center in Shelton; and
  • $62,000 for improvements at Mason County Veterans Memorial Hall in Shelton.

The lawmakers released the following statement regarding passage of the 2021-23 capital budget:

“Despite a divisive session in which the majority raised taxes on Washington families and rejected emergency powers reform, the 2021-23 capital budget represents an area of common ground that will serve our communities well. With this budget, we are making critical investments in schools, mental and behavioral health, water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, our environment, and more.

“We are particularly proud of the Legislature's ongoing commitment to make mental and behavioral health care the priority it should be, especially as we continue recovering from the global pandemic. Many adults have experienced mental health challenges over the past year, but so have our children. We must continue providing the capacity and resources necessary to get Washington citizens the help they need in a timely manner.

“Speaking of our youth, we are very pleased we were able to secure more than one million dollars in funding for Shelton Youth Connection, a vital organization in our community that serves at-risk individuals ages 12 to 24. By funding key renovations and the construction of age-appropriate housing options, we are going to see improved outcomes for those who need our help the most.

“One major challenge we continue to face is our affordable housing crisis. According to US News and World Report, Washington state ranks 47th in the nation in terms of housing affordability. While this capital budget invests tens of millions of dollars to help address this issue, it is clear more will need to be done to increase the supply of affordable housing and prevent more Washingtonians from facing the prospect of homelessness.

“Lastly, we worked hard to secure funding for a number of important projects in our communities. These projects will result in stronger infrastructure, a cleaner environment, and safer communities. We're excited to see construction get underway across the 35th District.”

The capital budget was approved by a vote of 49-0 in the Senate and 98-0 in the House. It now goes to the governor's desk for his signature.

The Legislature also passed the 2021-23 transportation budget on Saturday. The $11.8 billion biennial budget will provide funding for the maintenance and preservation of current transportation systems, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington State Ferry system, the Washington State Patrol, and other state transportation agencies.

Reps. MacEwen and Griffey worked to ensure the following items were included in the budget:

  • Modified WSP-Shelton water agreement – MacEwen and Griffey negotiated with the governor's office to remove the latecomers fee that existed between the Washington State Patrol Academy and the City of Shelton. The latecomers fee has long hindered economic growth around the Port of Shelton and the WSP Academy. Its removal will make it easier for properties to use the water line infrastructure that currently exists, which will help grow the local economy.
  • Kitsap toll credit New Kitsap toll credit language in the budget includes provisions that will improve the passenger-only ferry system in Kitsap County.
  • SR 302 corridor study SR 302 has a history of storm-related damage that has resulted in a number of road closures. The $800,000 corridor study in the budget will attempt to set a course for what improvements need to be made in order to make the highway more resilient.

Additionally, MacEwen and Griffey successfully fought to retain funding for all existing Connecting Washington transportation projects in the 35th District, including the Highway 3 freight corridor, formerly known as the Belfair Bypass project.

The lawmakers released the following statement regarding passage of the 2021-23 transportation budget:

“Given the fact the state's transportation budget took a massive hit due to the pandemic, the members of the transportation committee in both chambers should be commended for delivering a solid 2021-23 transportation budget. It will fund a number of important items that will meet our growing transportation needs.

“We are proud that we were able to keep the promises we made to our constituents, especially when it comes to funding for the Highway 3 freight corridor. That project, and the others we were able to secure funding for, will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our constituents for years to come.”

The transportation budget was approved by a vote of 41-8 in the Senate and 90-6 in the House. It now goes to the governor's desk for his signature.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov