Two bills for flood relief heard yesterday
Two bills aimed at providing funding for flood relief projects in the Chehalis River Basin and statewide were heard in the House Capital Budget Committee yesterday. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, who also serves as the ranking Republican on the committee (pictured at right).
DeBolt says “All of my focus this year is on providing this funding to make real the vision of the Chehalis Basin Flood Authority,” and that “Our region cannot keep waiting for protection from the next flood. We can’t wait on further delays from the federal government, and it’s in the best interest of this state to invest in and protect our economic and infrastructure interests in the area.”
The five largest floods in the Chehalis Basin have occurred in the last 30 years. The 2007 flood caused an estimated $938 million in damage to infrastructure and communities.
House Bill 2356 would authorize $1 billion in general obligation bonds to finance flood hazard reduction projects in high risk areas of Washington that are most vulnerable to flooding.
House Bill 2357 would also authorize $1 billion in general obligation bonds for the same purposes, but also provide $505 million for storm water projects from general obligation bonds to protect and improve water quality and watershed function.
Either bill could move forward, depending on support in the Legislature.