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Capital Budget includes millions in funding for Eastern Washington projects

The Washington Legislature approved a $1.5 billion capital budget this week. It will help fund several affordable housing, medical clinics and school modernization projects in Eastern Washington.

The capital budget includes about $3 million dollars to fully fund Highland Village in Airway Heights. The development is made up of single-family homes and apartments for people living in a mobile home park near Fairchild Air Force Base, and others with low-incomes in need of housing.

There is also $191,000 investment for the West Plains Childcare Center in Airway Heights. A recent study identified the area as a“childcare desert.”

Senator Jeff Holy represents Spokane County’s West Plains and said the investments are a result of constituent requests and bipartisan work.

“Even though there's partisan differences in the region, everybody plays as a team when it comes to local issues here,” he said. “You've got a really strong team working for you in the Senate, regardless of party, to make sure the big issues are addressed.”

According to legislative budget reports, Spokane and the West Plains are estimated to receive around $13 million in new appropriations for capital projects. The 9th Legislative District, which includes Whitman County, will receive around $5.6 million in new appropriations, and the 4th Legislative District, which includes Mead, Spokane Valley and Newman Lake, will receive around $500,000.

The capital budget also includes $700,000 to fully fund a behavioral health center in the old Hillyard Library in Spokane. MultiCare, which will operate the clinic, along with the Northeast Community Center and the city of Spokane, have all pledged funds for the project. The behavioral health center will serve low-income clients and youth and is scheduled to open next year.

Schools across eastern Washington are also set to get several million dollars. Republic, Tekoa, and St. John’s School District will get money for modernization projects, along with a few other rural districts. Spokane Public Schools will receive $1 million for an early learning Classroom at Logan Elementary.

The capital budget awaits Governor Jay Inslee’s signature.

A breakdown of capital budget projects by district can be found here.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.