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WASHINGTON

Washington

State Recovery Act Website: http://recovery.wa.gov/

Washington's state Recovery Act website scored 54 out of 100 possible points (ranking 19th) on Good Jobs First's updated 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus (Again). The state earned points for breaking down stimulus allocations by category and by county, and for providing details on individual contract and grant projects, as well as recipient jobs data.

For detailed scoring information, see the Washington appendix of Show Us the Stimulus (Again).

Coordination & Oversight

Washington does not appear to have a specific Recovery Act Plan.  The state recovery website says: "For money distributed by the state, decisions on project selection and level of funding will be made with the same process now used by state agencies and the Legislature. All major building decisions, major road projects and appropriations are subject to a rigorous review and approval process.  Other funds will be directly distributed by federal agencies through grants; each federal agency will follow the guidelines established in the Recovery Act and/or its normal procedures."

A comprehensive approved transportation projects plan has been approved by the Legislature, but it is not apparent that any other type of spending has progressed through this stage.

Bruce Botka of the Governor's Office of Government Management Accountability and Performance (GMAP) has been named the Stimulus Accountability Lead for the state.  Before joining Gov. Gregoire's staff, Botka worked as the legislative liaison for the Higher Education Coordinating Board and as the director of college relations for the State Board for Community and Technical College.

Gov. Gregoire has named Executive Policy Advisor Jill Satran as the state Stimulus Czar. She will be responsible for monitoring and coordinating funds.

Policy Debates

Washington, California, and Oregon are pushing a "green freeway" that would be eligible for stimulus money for alternative energy and green jobs projects.  The freeway would have fueling stations for electric cars and other alternative fuels.

King County Metro Transit received enough stimulus money to continue growing and expanding services (with a hike in rider charges) despite a $236 million budget deficit.

Seattle is alleging that the state Legislature is withholding much-needed road improvement funds for road repair related to the construction of a large viaduct tunnel replacement that is slated to cost the state $2.5 billion (via transportation-related tax increases).

Washington is coordinating efforts with Oregon to apply for a portion of the $8 billion in stimulus funds for high-speed rail. In total, 40 states are competing for these funds. Washington and Oregon have applied for $2.1 billion to improve and expand service.

State officials were upset when Washington only received one stimulus grant to support the state ferry system, which is the largest in the country. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explained that other project applications submitted by the state were not in economically distressed areas, which is a requirement for eligibility.

Last updated on: 27 January, 2010

Quick Facts

Population:
6,549,224

Median Household Income:
$55,591

Unemployment Rate:
9.2%

Poverty Rate:
11.4%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$4.6 billion

Watchdog Groups

Washington State Budget and Policy Center

WashPIRG (Washington Public Interest Research Group)

Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI)

Resources

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