Representative Derek Kilmer, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on provisions included in Governor Jay Inslee's budget priorities that would help solidify the presence of the Department of Defense in Washington State into the future. The Department of Defense is one of Washington State's largest employers and has continuous demand for ongoing construction, goods, and services.
Earlier this year, Representative Kilmer joined with defense communities and local legislators to recommend projects included in the Governor's budget priorities. Specific projects include pedestrian safety improvements for employees at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, acquisitions to combat encroachment at the NUWC Keyport training range on Hood Canal, and improvements to the Missouri Gate commercial truck entrance at Naval Base Kitsap, which will help alleviate congestion on HWY 304 and SR 3.
"I applaud Governor Inslee for recognizing the important role that military installations have in our economy and for including provisions in his budget priorities that solidify our military's presence here for years to come," said Representative Derek Kilmer. "I've been proud to work with defense communities in my district as well as local legislators to advocate for these investments. Given the budget uncertainty in our nation's capital, it is even more critical that our state consider opportunities to ensure our military installations' mission effectiveness and enhance the quality of life for service members and the surrounding population. Such investments will help to bolster national security, protect the environment, and create jobs."
Carol Evanoff, President of the Puget Sound Naval Bases Association said, "The PSNBA applauds Governor Inslee for recognizing the economic importance of investing in defense communities in our state. The projects identified in his budget priorities document will help to solidify the military missions in our state and improve the community surrounding them."
In a letter sent to Governor Inslee earlier this year, Representative Kilmer urged consideration of identified infrastructure and transportation improvements around military installations to enhance the quality of life for service members, civilian employees, and local communities. Representative Kilmer also encouraged Governor Inslee to help military installations maintain their mission readiness by procuring surrounding lands to prevent civilian encroachment on Department of Defense training and testing ranges. These actions help to protect civilians, preserve critical habitat, and solidify the presence of the region's largest employer.