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Published on Friday, April 7, 2017

Good news for cities in House capital budget

Last week we gave you highlights on the Senate’s proposed capital budget that has many positives for cities. The House rolled out their capital budget proposal this past week, and it contains good news for cities as well. Since the final capital budget will be tied up in the contentious operating budget negotiations, we cannot predict the final outcome but the initial proposals from both chambers are encouraging.

Highlights of the House capital budget (HB 1075) include:

  • $226 million for the Public Works Trust Fund, including $97 million for the 2017 construction loan list. $105 million for a 2019 loan list, and $19 million for pre-construction and emergency loans.
  • $40 million for stormwater projects. This would be enough to restore all delayed stormwater projects from previous budgets.
  • $20 million for the list of projects created by the Fish Barrier Removal Board, on which AWC serves. It is exciting to see this investment into smarter and strategic investments into local and private culvert replacements.
  • $106 million for low-income housing assistance.
  • $30 million for the Centennial Clean Water Account including sewer grants for communities in economic hardship. $30 million is not quite enough to meet the need of just the first year of the biennium. AWC is working to increase this funding level in the final budget negotiations to provide capacity for the full biennium.