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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

House approves $4.6 billion capital budget

Washington would spend nearly $112 million on a wide array of construction projects in Spokane County under a state capital budget approved unanimously by the House on Wednesday.

The $4.6 billion spending plan sets aside more than $1 billion for public school construction around the state.

It also has about $28.7 million for projects at Eastern Washington University, with the largest category being $12.5 million for infrastructure improvements. Another $10.5 million is set aside for repairs and preservation programs in the Community Colleges of Spokane system.

Eastern State Hospital would get $19 million for various upgrades, including a new boiler, fire protection and fire and smoke controls. The Medical Lake facility will also get a portion of the $13 million that would be spent on patient safety improvements at Eastern and Western State hospitals.

The budget proposal also has $3.9 million for recreation projects in the county, including $1.2 million to acquire land at Mica Peak and $750,000 for the rehabilitation of the Don Kardong Bridge.

The Highland Village housing project would get $5.5 million. Community projects that would receive support include $1 million for the Spokane Guilds’ School, $750,000 for the Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park ski lift and $536,000 for Browns Park in Spokane Valley.

Washington State University in Pullman would get $36 million for the new Global Animal Health Building, along with $9.3 million for infrastructure preservation projects and nearly $7 million for new or upgraded equipment.

The Senate has developed its own capital budget, which proposes spending about $656 million more on different projects. The Senate capital budget proposal has not yet come up for a vote. After it does, the differences between the two spending plans will have to be negotiated to come up with a single proposal that can pass both chambers.