Read an editorial piece from the Everett Herald asking the House of Representatives to respect the objective ranking criteria of the program and restore WWRP projects that have been cut in their Capital Budget proposal. One of these is the Barnum Point Water Access project on Camano Island, which has huge support from the local community.
Excerpt: “Both the Senate and the House have released their capital budgets for the next two years, and each have outlined $80 million in grants for scores of parks and wildlife projects throughout the state, including some in Snohomish and Island counties. And $80 million represents a significant increase in spending over previous budgets. Only $55 million in funding was approved in 2015, $65 million in 2013 and $42 million in 2011.
But less than a year after the new ranking grant process was adopted, Republicans on the House capital budget committee again chose to disregard much of the list and eliminated funding for all but one project in the critical habitat and natural areas categories.
Among the funding that would be cut under the House capital budget is property acquisition for shoreline access at a proposed Island County park at Camano Island’s Barnum Point, the subject of an April 3 commentary in The Herald by Val Schroeder. Funding also would be cut for other projects throughout the state in Chelan, Pierce, Kitsap, Klickitat, Kittitas, Douglas, Clark and Mason counties.
Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, vice-chairman of the House capital budget committee, said last week that for the most part there was general agreement among both parties on much of the $4.15 billion budget, including $1 billion for school construction and important investments for the state’s mental health system and for homelessness.
The Wildlife and Recreation program was the one “sticking point,” during committee discussion, Peterson said. ‘It was not our finest hour.'”
Read the full article on the Herald website.