Legislators are still considering a proposal to fund two agricultural science buildings on the WSU Pullman campus. The House Capital Budget provides $38.1 million for the first stage of the Global Animal Health Phase II project — the new home of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL). However, no funding was provided for the new Plant Sciences Building in the House budget. The Senate version of the Capital Budget provides $52 million for Plant Sciences and $23 million for Global Animal Health building. Both buildings are essential to Washington agriculture, and we support the funding of both projects.
Legislators are still considering some funding for certain VSP projects. Eligible cost-share funding in the Senate budget is $4 million for shellfish growing areas and $5 million for other parts of state. The House has $4 million for shellfish areas and $7 million available cost share in non-shellfish areas of state.
There is also no agreement yet on how to fix the crisis created by the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. The court ruled that Whatcom County failed to comply with the Growth Management Act requirements to protect water resources. The ruling requires the county to make an independent decision about legal water availability before approving or denying building permits that use wells for a water source. Finding a legislative solution to the Hirst ruling may be included in negotiations on the Capital Budget.