Blame it on the rain and gridlock.
The state Capitol’s maintenance crews were supposed to have nearly $300,000 for leak prevention work this summer, but the project was put on hold when lawmakers were unable to pass a construction budget.
Similar construction projects, $4 billion worth, at schools, prisons and state hospitals were also put on hold.
After a wet fall, those Capitol maintenance crews find themselves having to come up with creative ways to deal with a leaky roof.
It’s not clear if the preventative work would have prevented the leaks, but Capitol Campus Architect Chris Gizzi said the lack of construction funds are slowing the state’s ability to make the necessary repairs.
“If we put off doing the repairs then we risk damage to the interior of the building,” said Grizzi. “There’s absolutely work to be done, and we hope to see a budget soon.”
Republicans, who controlled the Senate in this year’s session, were unwilling to pass a construction budget without House Democrats agreeing to overturning a Supreme Court ruling regarding rural water rights.
While Democrats took control of the Senate in this month’s election, passing the bonds to pay for construction projects requires a two-thirds majority and would still take Republican votes.
A spokesperson said Democratic Governor Jay Inslee is willing to call lawmakers back for a special session to pass the construction budget if negotiators were able to reach a deal.