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Eye On Olympia

Budget compromise: a first look…

The House and Senate today inked a budget compromise that includes millions of dollars for local programs and projects.

Among them:
-$10 million for Washington State University to start construction on a $63 million new bioscience lab complex in Pullman.
-$2 million for repairs to Avista Stadium.
-$2 million to the Spokane County Conservation District for a biodiesel seed crushing facility in the Spokane Valley.
-$1 million for Washington State University’s Institute for Systems Medicine, a Spokane biomedical research program.
-$1.1 million toward cleanup of the Spokane River, plus another $1.2 million to speed up the cleanup of toxic contamination in the area.
-$100,000 for Spokane’s 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, plus a promise of another $500,000 in the next budget if the city wins its bid to host the 2009 world championships.
-$400,000 to Eastern Washington University to design the remodeling work on Patterson and Martin Williamson halls.
-$300,000 for food bank refrigeration at Second Harvest.
-$100,000 for Eastern Washington University’s Northeast Autism Center.
-$100,000 for Spokane’s International Trade Alliance.
-$520,000 to settle a Spokane County claim against the Department of Social and Health Services.
(Note: this is not a complete list. We’re still combing through budget documents in Olympia.)

Harder to break down locally — but arguably more important — will be $14 million more put into affordable housing programs and $50 million more into mental health programs and hospitals statewide.

Other big slices of the budget pie:
-More than $40 million to improve student test scores and help them with math and science.
-$15.7 million for teacher salary increases.
-$10 million more for nursing home reimbursement rates.
-$13.8 million more for children’s services.
-$6.1 million more for additional high-demand slots at colleges, including math and science spots at WSU.
-$4.2 million for training and Job Skills programs for high schoolers choosing trades over college.
-$4.8 million more for schools through the levy equalization program.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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