WASA and WSSDA, in partnership with ESD 112 and the Construction Services group has prepared a fact sheet and web site that addresses the impact of the state’s capital budget delay. Download a printable PDF of the fact sheet here, or read the content below.
Washington State’s Capital Budget Delay
What’s the issue?
State capital funds already scheduled for 56 school construction and renovation projects in 36 school districts across the state are currently on hold, waiting on the State Legislature to pass its capital budget for the 2017-19 biennium. Without an approved capital budget, $1.03 billion dollars, identified and agreed upon by the Legislature in Senate Bill 5981 for K-12 school construction projects, are unavailable.
Why didn’t the budget pass?
Water resource management legislation (unrelated to education) is holding up passage. While the Legislature passed a $43.7 billion1 statewide operating budget, which addresses increased funding for K-12 school operations, the capital budget must be passed for $1.03 billion in school construction project funds to be distributed.
When will this be resolved?
It is unclear when the Legislature will return to adopt a capital budget.
What can I do now?
Share your questions or concerns about the impacts on your district at www.WAschoolconstruction.org. We will gather information and answer questions.
POTENTIAL IMPACTS TO SCHOOLS & COMMUNITIES:
Economic Impact & Local Job Loss
School construction is a large, specialty industry. The immediate loss of thousands of construction jobs, the impacts of those lost wages on our local communities, and the negative economic impacts for suppliers are real and painful.
Increase in Costs
Construction costs are rising quickly, and school construction plans may need to be redesigned and scaled back due to delays. School construction bonds that communities voted on might not be able to happen as planned.
Materials & Labor Shortage
When the budget is finally passed, many districts will seek labor and materials simultaneously, and a shortage of design, construction and materials capacity in the marketplace will drive up costs and push out timelines.
Halt of Current Construction
Even existing projects with funding from the previous capital budget may come to a halt because payment from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) might be delayed.
Delayed Funding Impacts
The longer it takes for a capital budget to be adopted, the more K-12 projects throughout the state will be in line for funding. With a line-up of competition, it will be more difficult to fund all needs.
Significant Lost Planning Time
Many districts have already put projects out to bid, and, because bids must be approved by OSPI, this process may be hindered and require rebidding. A delay could require resubmissions of land use and building permit applications as well.