FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Dec. 18, 1995
Capital budget looks toward the future
OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry today
announced a $110.7 million supplemental spending proposal for
capital projects. The budget provides funding for both emergent
needs in state government and visionary investments in technology,
particularly benefiting higher education.
"Using technology to bring higher education opportunities
to more people is clearly a new frontier," Lowry said. "We
will use new advances in technology at every opportunity."
Some high-priority capital projects include:
- Washington Higher Education Network: A new interactive
higher education telecommunications backbone will be created with
a $32.4 million state investment. The Washington Higher Education
Network (WHEN) will link all public four-year institutions and
selected other locations to offer interactive classroom instruction
and data transmission. WHEN will allow shared instruction across
the state from any higher education institution.
- Juvenile Justice Adjustments: Significant increases
in the state's juvenile offender population have created a need
for bed space above projections assumed in the current budget.
About $13 million is proposed to upgrade the infrastructure of
the Green Hill School and add 112 new youth detention beds at
Green Hill School and the Mission Creek Youth Camp. Another $11
million is earmarked for improvements to Maple Lane School, including
112 new beds, an upgrade of infrastructure and expanded support
- Public Works Loans: A revised cash management strategy
with the public works trust fund will make available $30 million
in additional loans to finance local public works projects, including
fixing streets and bridges and building new arterials.
- Cheney Cowles Museum in Spokane: Design work for an
addition to the museum can begin with $1.2 million in state funds.
The addition will allow the exhibition of valuable Native American
artifacts that cannot be appropriately stored and displayed in
the current facility.
- USS Missouri: The state will assist local efforts
to secure the permanent mooring of the USS Missouri in Bremerton.
This $3 million proposal has statewide historical significance
and offers both educational and tourism benefits for Kitsap County.
New projects yielding future savings or new opportunities include:
- Corrections: The Department of Corrections (DOC) will
use $3.2 million to convert beds to close custody at the Washington
State Reformatory in Monroe, avoiding the construction of higher
custody beds at the new Grays Harbor facility. Also, DOC takes
advantage of $1.8 million in federal funds to pay part of the
cost of a new work ethic camp at McNeil Island.
- Liquor Distribution Center: The Liquor Control Board
will use $4 million to begin work on a new, more efficient liquor
distribution center. The old center, constructed in 1948, has
become outdated. The money will be raised through liquor sales.
- Trust Land Transfer: The Governor recommends that $50
million of the funds currently appropriated for common school
construction be redirected through the Department of Natural Resources
Trust Land Transfer program. This approach will permanently protect
valuable recreation and habitat areas, without reducing the amount
of funds available for common school construction. The supplemental
budget includes $3 million in additional state general funds to
purchase replacement trust lands.
Authority is provided for the State Treasurer to make alternate
financing arrangements to fund projects.These actions do not require
appropriation, but allow for annual lease/financing costs to be
paid from agency operating budgets. Specific projects that would
be funded through this arrangement include:
- Community College Projects: The budget allows for
$4.4 million in authority to purchase real property, expand parking,
provide daycare space, and expand classroom/laboratory space at
five community college campuses. Funding for projects will be
paid out of the operating budgets of the colleges or through use
of non-appropriated local funds.
- Fire Training Center: About $8 million will be used
to build an airplane fire training facility at the state fire
training center in North Bend. All the financing costs will be
paid by the Port of Seattle, the Federal Aeronautics Administration
and the Boeing Company. The equipment will be housed on state
property at no cost, and fire training fees will cover the cost
of maintenance and operation.
- State Offices: A purchase option to buy the office
currently leased by the Department of Social and Health Services
in Yakima was previously authorized in the 1993-95 capital budget,
but was not completed before the end of the biennium. This proposal
allows for $7.4 million to complete the transaction. An additional
$3.6 million is proposed to complete construction of Department
of Licensing (DOL) service offices in Clark, Spokane, Yakima and
Other savings opportunities the Governor has found include:
- Debt Service: The appropriation for debt service costs
in the 1995-97 Biennium is reduced by $17 million due to declining
interest rates on the sale of new bonds and unforeseen opportunities
to refinance outstanding bonds in recent months
- Project Savings: In developing the supplemental budget,
Lowry asked agencies to identify projects that could be eliminated
or reduced to free up funds for other needs. Approximately $9.9
million in savings were identified by this process.
For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office