Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a $1 billion jobs bill Monday that aims to put 18,000 people in the construction industry back to work. The bill is part of the bipartisan budget deal that was recently approved by the Legislature.
Gregoire chose to sign the package at Tacoma Community College. The campus is going to get a new $39 million health center as part of the deal.
“Jobs are a way out of this recession,” Gregoire said. “I’m proud to present a package that makes our state stronger and invests in Washington’s future.”
The bill included a number of “shovel-ready” projects: A big facility at UW Bothell; a building at WSU; a Walla Walla veterans' home; school renovations; replacing aging railroad bridges, a fish hatchery, and dozens more.
Gregoire’s favorite: A $5 million wine-research facility in Eastern Washington. “How fun it is to expose the world to the finest quality wine made anywhere, right here from Washington state?” Gregoire asked.
The bulk of the $1 billion will come from issuing bonds that will be paid back over time from the state’s General Fund.