Frockt says State Senate budget makes historic investments in education

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sen. David Frockt D-46
LFP, Kenmore, NE Seattle
The capital construction budget passed by the state Senate provides for a historic $1.1 billion in school construction and public-education investments, Sen. David Frockt, D-46 said last week.

The bill passed unanimously and now moves to the House for further negotiations in the state’s two-year budgeting process.

Frockt represents the 46th Legislative District, including Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle.

“This budget makes an unprecedented investment of nearly $1.1 billion in the K-12 system, which will result in new schools and classrooms around the state in both urban and rural areas,” said Frockt, the lead Democratic budget writer for the capital budget. 
“This is several hundred million dollars more than any recent budget and the highest amount invested in K-12 school construction since the McCleary decision came down.
“The budget also adds significantly to the governor’s proposed budget to fund critical investments in our four-year universities and in our community and technical college system,” Frockt said. 
“This is a budget that lays the foundation for a promising future for generations of Washington students to come.”

The budget provides $60 million for stormwater improvements, $30 million for the Clean Energy Fund, and $80 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program based on the program’s priority schedule — all uncommonly high allocations for Senate budgets in recent years.

“The budget adds to our existing capacity for mental-health treatment by funding crisis walk-in centers and additional low- and no-barrier housing beds among other mental health investments,” Frockt added.
“It provides nearly $100 million in housing funding, including $95 million in the Housing Trust Fund, with specific funding for an innovation grant in high-need areas like Seattle. 
"It also provides $16 million in grants to improve dental capacity in underserved communities across our state to improve the ability of thousands of low-income Washingtonians to see a dentist through our network of Community Health Centers.”

Among the many projects funded in the capital budget are a number of priority projects in or near the 46th District:

  • $1.2 million to remove fish barriers and improve flood control related to Lyon Creek in Lake Forest Park, fulfilling Lake Forest Park’s top capital priority;
  • $2 million for renovations at the Magnuson Community Center and $1 million for Mercy Housing Northwest’s Renovation of Building 9 at Magnuson Park;
  • $1.7 million for upgrades at the University YMCA in Seattle;
  • $250,000 for construction of the Kenmore Public Boathouse and $250,000 for improvements at Moorlands Park, both of which were Kenmore priorities; and
  • $75,000 to spur development of a new Environmental Learning Center at Saint Edward State Park’s remodeled seminary building in Kenmore

“Higher education investment is very important to the people in my community so I was pleased that funding to replace Shoreline Community College’s Allied Health, Science and Manufacturing Building as well as funding for the Evans School, the Magnuson Health Sciences Building and the new Population Health Sciences building, all at the University of Washington was also included in the budget.” Frockt added.

“In addition to these local projects, I was pleased that the budget secured funding for upgrades at important Seattle Arts Institutions through the Building for the Arts competitive grant process including Seattle Town Hall and the Seattle Art Museum, as well as funding for renovations at the Paramount Theatre.

“While this budget doesn’t address all our critical needs to the extent I had sought, it is a positive budget overall that moves us forward in critical areas, particularly in education and mental health.

"Its overwhelming bipartisan support bodes well for the Legislature as we move toward final negotiations over our education funding plan and needed capital investments. The public wants the two parties to work together to solve problems and I think this budget shows that the two parties can do that.”


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