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Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:36

Over the Edge: Tick Season

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May is Lyme disease awareness month.

Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:32

Living Faraway: April Showers Bring Edible Flowers

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By Brook Hurst Stephens

Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:29

Devil's Head Diary: State Budget Views

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What’s Happening with McCleary and fully funding state K-12 education?

On day 91 of the 105th day of the 2017 Washington State Legislative Session, it looks like fulfilling the state constitutional mandate to fully fund basic education will be unmet. The House and the Senate are fairly close in the dollar amount listed in budget proposals, but there is still a huge gap in strategies for raising the funds.

Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:24

From the Legislature: KP Projects in New Budget

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By State Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-26th)

Every biennium, the Washington State Legislature adopts three major budgets. The largest is the operating budget, which funds the day-to-day operations of state agencies, public schools, colleges and universities. The second largest is the transportation budget, which funds public transit and road maintenance, as well as motor vehicle registration and enforcement.

The smallest of the three budgets is the roughly $4 billion capital budget, funded by a combination of state bonds (the state is bound by an 8.25 percent debt limit) and cash. Capital budget funds are allocated for the building, maintenance and renovation of the following:

  • Public school buildings;
  • College and university buildings;
  • Prison facilities and juvenile rehabilitation facilities;
  • Mental health institutions;
  • State office buildings;
  • Parks and recreation facilities;
  • Low-income housing;
  • State and local museums and cultural facilities;
  • Local government infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer systems;
  • Wastewater and toxic waste cleanup facilities; and
  • Wildlife habitat conservation and open space projects.

The School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP) is one of the largest and most important components of the capital budget. SCAP funds, which are allocated to local school districts for school facility construction and modernization, are provided by voter-approved school construction bonds. In 2016, voters approved a record number of school construction bond dollars, which means the 2017-19 SCAP budget will be more than $1 billion—or roughly one quarter of the capital budget.

Historically, the Key Peninsula has not received many capital budget dollars due to a lack of requests. However, we were able to secure $50,000 in funding two years ago when the Key Pen Civic Center asked for funding to fix its HVAC system.

This session has been unique in that we’ve received more capital budget requests than ever before. I worked tirelessly with my fellow 26th District lawmakers to ensure important Key Pen projects were included in the 2017-19 House capital budget proposal:

  • $515,000 for the construction of what would be the first retirement community on the KP. This partnership with The Mustard Seed Project would provide a full range of services for individuals maturing in life who would like to remain in the community.
  • $248,000 for environmental and public safety upgrades to the Longbranch Marina.
  • $60,000 for the purchase of a generator for the Key Pen Civic Center to mitigate power outages.

While negotiations are ongoing, I’m hopeful these projects will receive funding in the final capital budget.

For updates on the projects included in the final budget, go to

If there are projects you would like funded in a future legislative session, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. You can reach me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 360-786-7802.

It is an honor to serve you in the House. Together, we are making a difference for our communities.

Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) is serving her second term in the state House of Representatives. She serves on the House Appropriations, Education and Health Care and Wellness committees.

Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:18

Key Concerns: SB 5239 Won’t Work

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By Edward Robison, P.E., S.E.

Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:12

From the Legislature: In Support of SB 5239

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By Sen. Jan Angel (R-26th)