With just one day left in the 2021 legislative session, 13th District legislators gave their approval to a new two-year spending plan for capital projects around the state. Sen. Judy Warnick and Representatives Tom Dent and Alex Ybarra worked together to garner nearly $10 million in critical community projects for the 4-county district, in addition to over $80 million in other infrastructure improvements for schools, parks, and environmental projects.
For several years, Warnick had previously served as a lead Capital Budget negotiator in the Senate. While no longer in that role, she remains on the broader budget committee that oversees fiscal matters. Along with Dent and Ybarra, the 13th District team worked hard to ensure the region’s priorities were met.
“The state’s capital budget is an opportunity for us to invest in projects that are critical to our communities,” said Warnick, R-Moses Lake. “There is a lot of demand but only so many resources, so it can be a challenge to prioritize. However, this budget gets it right. The nearly $2 million for the facilities at our community food bank are desperately needed to serve our low-income neighbors, particularly as we are still reeling from the economic impacts of COVID shutdowns.”
The total $6 billion budget includes an historic $413 million investment in broadband internet access around the state, including $258,000 for an agriculture pilot project in the 13th District. Nearly $1 billion is being allocated to K-12 and early education with significant funding for small schools and early learning centers.
“For communities in the 13th District, this budget isn’t simply about reopening and recovery, it’s about long-term renewal,” said Ybarra, R-Quincy. “Strategic investments today mean jobs and a better quality of life tomorrow. That’s what makes this budget exciting news. A wide-range of projects including a healthcare services in Kittitas, public building improvements, like the library in Ephrata, and even a business incubator in Moses Lake, mean generations of residents will benefit from these choices.”
Additional community projects include:
- $193,000 for water efficiency improvements in Royal City;
- $784,000 to improve the Upper Kittitas County Medic One – Station 99; and
- $621,000 in upgrades for the Ephrata Recreation Center.
“This spending plan does a great job of balancing what is needed and addressing priorities in all corners of our state while making local investments that benefit the 13th District,” said Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake. “In our region it funds much-needed community projects and infrastructure improvements related to schools, water, and forest health. I am pleased we were able to pass such a strong bipartisan budget at such a critical time for our economy.”
A complete list of 13th District projects can be found online here.