Last Friday evening, the Washington State Legislature passed the state’s 2017-19 Operating Budget in time for the Governor to sign it and avoid a shutdown of our state parks and other state facilities and services.
Unfortunately, no deal has yet been reached on the new Capital Construction budget—the source of all new WWRP funding. This means that while the legislature did adopt a stop-gap measure allowing projects already underway to continue, no new funding level or final project list has been approved for the next round of WWRP projects.
We are very encouraged by the House’s latest revised capital budget proposal, which was released in the wee hours last night. The new bipartisan House proposal includes $80 million for the WWRP and, importantly, respects the integrity of the program by restoring the projects previously removed from the list and following the statute’s funding allocation formula.
Budget writers should return to the negotiating table shortly after the holiday weekend to complete this work. We will send an update once a final deal on WWRP and the Capital Budget are reached. In the meantime, you can help by contacting your Senator, and urging them to pass the House’s new Capital Budget (HB 1075) that fully and fairly funds the WWRP grant program.