WA Gov. Jay Inslee’s $4B housing proposal faces hurdles in Legislature

March 20, 2023 at 4:47 pm Updated March 20, 2023 at 6:49 pm

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee’s swing-for-the-fences idea to borrow billions to accelerate housing construction got some pushback Monday from budget writers in the state Senate.

The state constitution limits how much money Washington can borrow. Inslee had proposed asking Washington voters for permission to go outside that limit to raise $4 billion over six years to build housing, in a state estimated to need 1.1 million more homes in the next 20 years.

But writers of the Senate capital budget proposal did not include that idea in their plan, unveiled Monday.

It’s early yet. With about a month remaining in the legislative session, the contours of state spending are just beginning to come into focus. House budget writers are expected to release their capital budget plan next week, and lawmakers from the two chambers will negotiate to reach an agreement.

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