Capital budget compromise would increase 2021–23 appropriations by 23%

By: Emily Makings
10:08 am
March 9, 2022

As we wait for the operating budget conference report, the Legislature has released a compromise capital budget proposal. (It was passed by the House yesterday.) It would increase 2021–23 capital appropriations by $1.507 billion from all funds, which is $260.2 million more than was included in the Senate-passed supplemental capital budget. Revised 2021–23 capital appropriations from all funds would be $8.055 billion—23.0% higher than the enacted biennial capital budget and 54.4% higher than the 2019–21 capital budget (including the 2021 supplemental).

The Senate-passed version would have used $561.6 million of the federal coronavirus state fiscal recovery fund. The compromise supplemental capital budget would not use the CSFRF. It would use $328.6 million from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Additionally, apparently the operating budget compromise will transfer $650 million from the general fund–state (GFS) to the capital community assistance account (CCAA). The proposed capital budget would then appropriate $590.0 million from the CCAA (mainly in the Department of Commerce) and transfer $60.0 million from the CCAA to the apple health and homes account, which would then be appropriated for the Department of Commerce.

The House-passed operating budget created the CCAA and would have appropriated $737.0 million to it from the GFS. As passed by the House, the account was to be “used for capital costs to provide community support services, and for infrastructure and other capital expenditures to support the well-being of communities.” The apple health and homes account (AHHA) is established in ESHB 1866, and the House-passed operating budget would have appropriated $43.5 million from the GFS to the AHHA. (The House and Senate have passed different versions of ESHB 1866, which would provide permanent supportive housing benefits.) The Senate-passed operating budget would not have appropriated any funds for either of these accounts.

Of the $1.507 billion increase in the compromise capital budget, 70.1% would go to the Department of Commerce. That includes:

  • $300.0 million for rapid capital housing
  • $120.0 million for public works assistance account projects
  • $113.0 million for affordable housing
  • $79.8 million for weatherization plus health
  • $75.0 million for broadband
  • $72.0 million for crisis stabilization facilities

In the Department of Ecology, $236.0 million would be appropriated for the water pollution control revolving program. In the Department of Health, $78.9 million would be appropriated for the drinking water assistance program. For public schools, $100.0 million would be appropriated for the school seismic safety grant program (implementing SSB 5933).

Categories: Budget.
Tags: 2022supp