12th District Representative Mike Steele provides a brief overview on what the North Central region can expect for the 2023-25 Capital Budget in this upcoming legislative session.

Steele was recently reappointed to the House Capital Budget Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.

The House Capital Budget Committee approves funding for long-term infrastructure projects and grants given to nonprofits across the state.

The Capital Budget Committee will be parsing out the 2023-25 Capital Budget, which is expected to be smaller this year at roughly $4.3 billion.

The state was able to allocate $6 billion in last year’s capital budget, which mostly came from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

With a moderately smaller capital budget and increased competition for capital funding due to the newly redistricted 12th District, Steele said there is some added pressure to this year’s budgeting process.

In 2021, the 12th Legislative District was redistricted, splitting a portion of Douglas County while adding Snohomish County and parts of King County into the new district.

For the 2023-25 State Operating Budget, Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a total budget of $70 billion, with $4 billion set to go towards the ongoing housing crisis

In regards to Gov. Jay Inslee prioritizing funding for housing and mental health services, Steele said he hopes to also see a focus in workforce housing and infrastructure projects for mental health services.

“Mental and behavioral health is a big issue that is both programmatic on the general fund side and then [the] physical facility on the capital fund side,” Steele said. “I’m looking at both of those things pretty critically and figuring out how the two budgets sorta talk to one another and see if there are ways to address both the facility issue, but the programmatic issue has to be addressed at the same time.”

Capital budget request forms were released back in December, with some projects already lined up for Steele. 

Steele shared that those currently in capital budget talks include the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, Wenatchee Valley YMCA, Upper Valley MEND, Lake Chelan Housing Trust, and Lake Chelan Community Hospital.

The 105-day legislative session will begin on Jan. 9.

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