AIA|WA Testifies on the Capital Budget

The AIAWA testified today on the adoption a 2011-2013 capital budget in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Noting the newly released report from Hebert Research, funded by the AIAWA, the Council was able to express concern about the continuing budget transfers from the capital construction budget. The report clearly demonstrates that the state gets more “bang for its buck” from capital spending and that architects are suffering in this economy.

For example, the AIAWA testified that the study found:

•Investing $1 billion in capital projects, rather than general government spending, creates nearly 1,000 more jobs and almost $55 million more in wages.

•For every billion dollars invested in capital construction activities, the state gains 13,820 total jobs and $732.6 million in wages.

This information can be summarized to mean: for every dollar transferred out of the capital budget a job is put at risk! Other data also supports that architects, engineers and contractors employees continue to face economic hardship in Washington State. The American Institute of Architects billings index shows that the Western Region of the United States (including WA) has seen declining architecture billings since mid-2008. Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Washington has lost 6,000 architecture and engineering jobs since 2008.

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