NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

All systems go! Legislature *finally* sends capital budget to Governor Inslee’s desk

We have a cap­i­tal bud­get!

After many months and weeks of Four Cor­ner nego­ti­a­tions, the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture has vot­ed almost unan­i­mous­ly to autho­rize bil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of impor­tant, nec­es­sary projects that will strength­en our com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is good news for Wash­ing­to­ni­ans that the Leg­is­la­ture passed the long-over­due con­struc­tion bud­get,” said a hap­py Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee. “This allows us to restart hun­dreds of stalled projects at schools and men­tal health facil­i­ties and build more afford­able hous­ing — as well as put thou­sands of Wash­ing­to­ni­ans to work.”

“The Leg­is­la­ture also approved a Hirst fix,” the Gov­er­nor not­ed. “I appre­ci­ate that the com­plex­i­ty of this issue required sev­er­al months of nego­ti­a­tions by many leg­is­la­tors. While far from per­fect, this bill helps pro­tect water resources while pro­vid­ing water for fam­i­lies in rur­al Wash­ing­ton. It includes sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing for habi­tat pro­tec­tion and restora­tion and oth­er improve­ments that will be guid­ed by local stake­hold­ers and tribes accord­ing to the needs of each basin.”

“Despite this pos­i­tive step, pres­sures on stream flows and salmon will con­tin­ue to mount in the face of cli­mate change and grow­ing demand for water. We must build upon this effort to meet those chal­lenges far into the future and con­tin­ue to work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly to pro­tect this valu­able resource.”

“It is, how­ev­er, extreme­ly unfor­tu­nate and, frankly, irre­spon­si­ble, that for near­ly a year Repub­li­cans stalled those projects and refused to vote on the $4.2 bil­lion cap­i­tal bud­get by link­ing it to pas­sage of an unre­lat­ed effort to address the Supreme Court’s Hirst rul­ing on water rights. Their delay in pass­ing the cap­i­tal bud­get comes with many costs, mon­e­tary and oth­er­wise.

“After our review of the cap­i­tal bud­get, I will sign both of these impor­tant pieces of leg­is­la­tion in short order,” the Gov­er­nor’s state­ment con­clud­ed.

“The cap­i­tal bud­get rep­re­sents one of the great­est invest­ments we can make in Wash­ing­ton and in Wash­ing­to­ni­ans,” said Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Sharon Nel­son.

“Thou­sands of fam­i­ly wage jobs, school con­struc­tion, afford­able hous­ing, envi­ron­men­tal improve­ments, men­tal health enhance­ments and invest­ments will now final­ly be deliv­ered to com­mu­ni­ties across our state.

“For far too long, the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties who des­per­ate­ly need­ed these invest­ments were caught up in a game of brinks­man­ship and polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy. There are no win­ners when the needs of real peo­ple are used as lever­age.

“I’m proud of our new major­i­ty and the quick man­ner in which we act­ed to get this crit­i­cal leg­is­la­tion agreed to and passed,” Nel­son added.

“This is the right way to do busi­ness. Let’s work togeth­er, nego­ti­ate through our dif­fer­ences and tru­ly put peo­ple first in all the work we do.”

The House vote on the cap­i­tal bud­get was nine­ty-five to one. The vote in the Sen­ate was unan­i­mous. Here is the roll call for the House:

Roll Call
SSB 6090
Cap­i­tal bud­get 2017–2019
Final Pas­sage
1/18/2018

Yeas: 95; Nays: 1; Excused: 2

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Apple­ton, Barkis, Bergquist, Blake, Buys, Caldier, Chan­dler, Chap­man, Clib­born, Cody, Con­dot­ta, DeBolt, Dent, Doglio, Dolan, Dye, Eslick, Fitzgib­bon, Frame, Good­man, Graves, Gregerson, Grif­fey, Haler, Hansen, Har­grove, Harmsworth, Har­ris, Hayes, Holy, Hud­gins, Irwin, Jenkin, Jink­ins, John­son, Kagi, Kil­duff, Kir­by, Klip­pert, Klo­ba, Kraft, Kretz, Kris­tiansen, Lovick, MacEwen, Macri, Man­weller, May­cum­ber, McBride, McCabe, McCaslin, McDon­ald, Mor­ris, Muri, Nealey, Orcutt, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Pel­lic­ciot­ti, Peter­son, Pet­ti­grew, Pike, Pol­let, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Robin­son, Rodne, Ryu, San­tos, Sawyer, Schmick, Sells, Senn, Shea, Slat­ter, Smith, Springer, Stam­baugh, Stan­ford, Steele, Stokes­bary, Stonier, Sul­li­van, Tar­leton, Tharinger, Valdez, Van Wer­ven, Vick, Volz, Walsh, Wilcox, Wylie, Young, Speak­er Chopp

Vot­ing Nay: Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tay­lor

Excused: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Fey, Lyt­ton

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive David Tay­lor was the sole vote against the cap­i­tal bud­get. As men­tioned, the Sen­ate vote was unan­i­mous, so the roll call only has one cat­e­go­ry.

Roll Call
SSB 6090
Cap­i­tal bud­get 2017–2019
3rd Read­ing & Final Pas­sage
1/18/2018

Yeas: 49

Vot­ing Yea: Sen­a­tors Angel, Bai­ley, Baum­gart­ner, Beck­er, Bil­lig, Braun, Brown, Car­lyle, Chase, Cleve­land, Con­way, Darneille, Dhin­gra, Erick­sen, Fain, For­tu­na­to, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hobbs, Hon­ey­ford, Hunt, Keis­er, King, Kud­er­er, Liias, McCoy, Milos­cia, Mul­let, Nel­son, O‘Ban, Pad­den, Palum­bo, Ped­er­sen, Ranker, Rivers, Rolfes, Sal­daña, Schoesler, Shel­don, Short, Takko, Van De Wege, Wag­oner, Walsh, War­nick, Well­man, Wil­son, Zeiger

To imple­ment the cap­i­tal bud­get, the Leg­is­la­ture also passed E2SHB 1080, con­cern­ing state gen­er­al oblig­a­tion bonds and relat­ed accounts.

Repub­li­can Matt Man­weller joined Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tay­lor in vot­ing nay in the House, while Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Mike Pad­den and Jim Hon­ey­ford vot­ed nay in the Sen­ate.

Pas­sage of the cap­i­tal bud­get takes care of a major 2018 ses­sion objec­tive that many orga­ni­za­tions declared to be of para­mount impor­tant to them, includ­ing the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, which list­ed the cap­i­tal bud­get at the very top of its first-ever Leg­isla­tive Pri­or­i­ties Agen­da.

NPI con­grat­u­lates the Leg­is­la­ture for get­ting the cap­i­tal bud­get unstuck and sent to Gov­er­nor Inslee’s desk. The afore­men­tioned bill to imple­ment the cap­i­tal bud­get required a three-fifths vote because it autho­rizes the issuance of bonds, mean­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­ers had to work with Repub­li­cans to reach an agree­ment.

It’s tru­ly refresh­ing to see grid­lock get over­come at the state lev­el, even as it con­tin­ues to par­a­lyze Con­gress. Repub­li­cans are in full con­trol of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, but they can­not gov­ern. Democ­rats, mean­while, have full con­trol of the state­house here in Wash­ing­ton, and are get­ting results.

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