Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, laid out her priorities for this session at a meet-and-greet with members of the media Friday. At the top of her list is the completion of the Washington’s Heritage Center on the state’s capitol campus.
The center would house the State Archives, the State Library and the State Capitol Museum’s exhibits.
Construction for the heritage center was proposed by former Secretary of State Sam Reed in 2007. A year later, due to the deepening of the recession, the building was placed on hold. The Secretary of State’s office says a total of $16 million dollars dedicated for the Heritage Center has been reallocated elsewhere.
Wyman said now that the economy is improving the project should resume, and the destruction of the General Administration building provides just the right location. In terms of costs, she said the price-tag of construction is currently the lowest it will be for the next ten years.
“So, I think we should at least start having the conversation about how we could move forward,” she said.
Wyman compared the current renting of the state’s library site — at an annual cost of $1.2 million — to using a credit card when the state could be laying down cash for a profitable venture.
“It’s just a silly investment if we continue to rent space when we could be investing in an actual capital project that is going to be here for generations to come,” Wyman said.
Also on the new Secretary of State’s agenda: ensuring a printed voter’s pamphlet for all federal and state officials in even-year primary elections, and discontinuing the holding of primary elections for judicial races when only one or two candidates have filed for office.