Politics & Government

New state library-archives building and the $2 fee to pay for it are closer to reality

A bill to finance construction of a new state library-archives building in Tumwater is one step away from becoming law.

Without debate, the Senate voted 41-7 on Thursday to approve the measure, which would add a $2 fee on documents recorded by county auditors statewide. Those records include real estate transactions, marriages and births. HB 2015 says the fee would be eliminated after debt on the $108 million building is repaid. The state plans to sell certificates of participation, which are similar to bonds, to pay for construction.

The project would enable the Secretary of State’s office to consolidate its operations in one location. Currently, the office is divided among six leased facilities. The site for the new library-archives is adjacent to other state office buildings in Tumwater on what is known as the South Campus. Secretary of State Kim Wyman has said the State Archives on the Capitol Campus and the Washington State Library in Tumwater outgrew their facilities several years ago.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, urged his colleagues to support the measure.

“It’s very important that we keep our state archives and our state history alive. These are our most valuable documents, and they have legal, historic and financial significance,” he said.

The House voted 92-6 later Thursday to agree with a minor Senate amendment to the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia. It now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

The proposed state capital budget bill includes $5 million for design work and project planning for the library-archives building.