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June 22, 2021

Skagit County Commissioners, elected officials thank delegation for 2021 legislative successes

On May 18, 2021, Governor Inslee signed the 2021 capital budget that approved several Skagit County requested projects. These projects included:

  • shoreside charging infrastructure for the Guemes Ferry Replacement Project (sponsored by Rep. Lekanoff, Sen. Lovelett);
  • renovation of the Skagit County Morgue (Sponsored by Rep. Paul and Sen. Wagoner)
  • investments in the seismic stability of the Skagit County courthouse through the Heritage Grant Fund, and;
  • reappropriated funding for the Sedro-Woolley Evaluation and Treatment (E&T) center.

Skagit County also put forward two bills this session, H.B. 1309 (Sponsored by Reps. Eslick, Ramel, Paul and Lekanoff) and H.B. 1502 (Sponsored by Reps. Wyile, Griffey, Ramel, Paul, Lekanooff, Berry, Ortiz-Self, Hackney, Harries-Talley and Pollet), which have now been signed into law.

Lisa Janicki, Chair of the Board of Commissioners, said, “Nearly every member of our delegation did something this session that will directly benefit the residents of Skagit County and reflects our County priorities. We are so lucky to have such a great team in Olympia.”

In addition to the priorities put forward by Skagit County, the legislature also awarded $4.5 million in capital funding to the didgʷálič wellness center, which is operated by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and provides treatment for substance use disorders, counseling, dental care and other much needed medical services to tribal and non-tribal persons throughout the Northwest region. This funding will allow didgʷálič to add supportive housing to the center. This capital budget request was sponsored and supported by Representatives Ramel, Paul, Lekanoff, Gilday and Eslick and Senators Lovelett, Wagoner and Muzzall.

“We were very pleased to see that the delegation were successful in advocating in the requests of our partners this session,” said Commissioner Peter Browning. “didgʷálič wellness center in particular provides many critical, highly needed services in the community. I am very appreciative of the delegation for recognizing the importance of this project.”

Commissioner Ron Wesen said, “Many of these projects have been in the works for a while, and this funding is what will allow us to really get over the finish line. We’ll be excited to host a ribbon cutting for the Morgue project with our delegation members when it’s completed later this year.”

The Skagit County Morgue project will renovate the existing Coroner’s office on Continental Place in Mount Vernon to provide additional case and holding capacity for the Coroner. Among other benefits, the Morgue will effectively triple the tri-county region’s capacity for soft tissue donation.

“I am so grateful for the support we’ve gotten for the Morgue,” said Coroner Hayley Thompson. “Our delegation really understood why this project was so critical for our community and did a really great job of advocating for our needs. We’re very lucky to be so well represented in Olympia!”

Skagit County is covered by three legislative districts (10, 39 and 40) and has nine total representatives in Olympia. For more information on Skagit County’s legislative priorities and the 2021 Session, visit our website. To find out who represents you in Olympia, visit Washington State’s District Finder tool. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the Commissioners’ office at 360-416-1300.