OLYMPIA -- A bipartisan plan to use state lottery money for bonds to build new classrooms passed easily in the House today.
On a 90-7 vote, the House approved a bill to build some 2,000 classrooms for kindergarten through Grade 3 classes which will be reduced in size as part of a plan to improve public school. It would sell $700 million in bonds, and pay them off over 20 years by taking $50 million annually from the state's lottery revenue.
A few Republicans said they agreed with using lottery money for education but objected to the bond plan. The state should be patient, use the lottery's cash flow, and avoid bonds and their interest payments.
House Capital Budget Committee Chairman Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, said bonds would quickly provide the money school districts will need to have all the necessary classrooms by the 2017-18 school year.
Earlier in the morning the House passed a separate Supplemental Capital Budget with $166 million in new projects. Included in the lists are $1 million for the Spokane Valley Tech center and $2.9 million for the Veterans Cemetery Expansion.