Final Budget Signed
On May 18th, Governor Jay Inslee signed SB 5092 and HB 1080 containing the operating and capital budgets for the 2021-23 biennium. These budgets will go into effect on July 1. Though he partially vetoed some sections of the operating budget (available here with his veto message), no conservation district funding was impacted.
Operating Budget Highlights
- $2 million in Conservation Technical Assistance as ongoing funding to “increase the capacity of CDs to assist landowners achieve environmental stewardship and agricultural sustainability.”
- $3 million in one-time wildfire recovery grants for CDs to provide technical assistance, cultural resources reviews, engineering, and cost-share grants to landowners for recovery from wildfire damage.
- $8.45 million to fund the Voluntary Stewardship Program.
- Funding a pilot project, in partnership with Department of Ecology, for a water bank in Okanogan County.
- $33.798 million in total operating funding to the Washington State Conservation Commission.
Capital Budget Highlights
- $4 million in new funding for Natural Resource Investments.
- $4 million in new funding for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
- $7 million in new funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
- $3.5 million in new funding for the Commission’s shellfish program.
- Funding for CD-sponsored projects totaling over $6 million.
- $400,000 for Grant County CD to assist in implementing $16 million for the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Project.