Inslee budget proposes $1.2 billion increase for Department of Commerce
Focus on equity runs throughout significant funding increases serving range of priorities from housing to clean energy, broadband expansion and helping secure federal funding
OLYMPIA, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee’s supplemental budget released today proposes a $1.2 billion increase for the Department of Commerce, including $415 million in operating funds and $775 million in new capital dollars. The proposed budget funds all of the agency’s upcoming legislative requests.
Commerce is seeking support for a wide range of existing and new programs focused on several key priorities:
- Meeting urgent needs around housing stability, affordability and preventing homelessness;
- De-carbonizing and market transformation related to climate change;
- Creating green jobs, supporting small businesses and enhancing our global competitiveness;
- Closing the digital divide in Washington’s rural and urban communities; and
- Leveraging all avenues for securing generational investment opportunities from the federal government.
- Working with our many community partners to make meaningful investments.
“Governor Inslee’s proposed 2024 supplemental budget reflects his commitment to continue and grow our work with partners across the state to strengthen communities and meet the emerging needs of this critical moment in our state’s history,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. The governor is proposing a $1.2 billion dollar budget increase for our agency, with $415 million in operating funds and $775 million in capital dollars for our communities. Our 600 employees now stand ready to ensure these new resources, should the legislature approve them, get to the communities with the highest need.”
Highlights of Gov. Inslee’s budget to Commerce include:
- Nearly $130 million to match federal programs on pollution reduction, clean tech development and clean jobs. This funding continues to position us as strong contenders for federal dollars.
- $100 million for Clean Energy Community Decarbonization for community-driven, neighborhood-scale clean energy projects in low income and overburdened communities
- $100 million for heat pump installation for low income households
- $2 million for a Tribal Clean Energy Center
- To meet the urgent needs around housing instability, $100 million to resolve homeless encampments quickly and bring our most vulnerable people indoors
- $3 million to continue housing support for human trafficking victims
- $2 million to expand security and support for religious and non-profit community centers who experience hate-inspired vandalism
- Additional funds to support communities in need of broadband and digital access
- Flexible emergency funds to support natural disaster relief and other emergencies impacting infrastructure, services or community health
- Funds for the continued operation of our Communities of Concern Commission
- State funding for the Equitable Recovery and Reconciliation Alliance (ERRA) to match federal Small Business Administration funding to strengthen and support Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC-owned small businesses
“Commerce is unique, in that everything we do is an investment in Washington State’s greatest asset: our people,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “Whether it be meeting their basic needs of housing and safety, helping our businesses rebuild in a post-pandemic economy, or connecting seniors and low income households to the internet, our programs help people move forward and build strong and resilient communities.”
Commerce’s budget has doubled since the 2019-21 biennium. Learn more about how Commerce strengthens communities at www.commerce.wa.gov.