McEntire legislation to assist small schools with capital finances clears Capital Budget Committee before key cutoff date

Legislation that could provide assistance to small school districts in need of capital funding continues to work its way through the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 1044, sponsored by Rep. Joel McEntire, was unanimously voted out of the House Capital Budget Committee on Feb. 20.

“This is an important piece of legislation for our small schools in need of capital funding assistance. There continues to be strong bipartisan support to address this critical issue as reflected by the unanimous vote in committee,” said McEntire, R-Cathlamet. “However, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure we get this passed into law. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make it happen.”

The bill would provide funding for small school districts through a grant process based on need. School districts would receive a score based on certain criteria. Grant dollars would then go to the school district whose score reflects the most need. Projects eligible for grant funding must correct critical physical deficiencies or essential safety concerns. That includes modernizing, repairing, reconfiguring, or replacing existing buildings and construction of new buildings.

“Districts who struggle passing bond measures or lack bond capacity would benefit from this legislation. We also have several schools that have structural deficiencies or safety concerns with their infrastructure that could access capital funding under this bill,” said McEntire. “This legislation is about providing a quality learning environment for students no matter what their zip code is in Washington state.”

The bill now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.

The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications