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Employee Council

Proposed Supplemental Budget

The House and Senate yesterday reached tentative agreement on a 2014 supplemental operating budget (ESHB 6002). Regular session ends tonight at midnight. If the legislature has not concluded passage of bills necessary to implement the budget, the governor may call the legislature into a brief special session. When the legislature approves the conference budget, the governor will have 30 days in which to act upon the agreement. The budget bill does not become law until the governor signs it.

Good news includes the appropriation to CWU of $1 million to expand enrollment in computer science and engineering.  The legislature also approved HB 2613, which will allow us to prorate salary and benefits associated with 9-month contracts over 12 months, a provision strongly supported by CWU. The measure also expands the limit on capital budget "Intermediate" projects from $4.9 million to $9.9 million.

Other news includes legislative approval of an audit of 148 and 149 funds at all public colleges and universities. The purpose of the audit, which institutions will pay for, is to clarify how the accounts are used and recommend ways to improve "ongoing clarity, transparency, and accurate accounting of the use of these accounts."  It also appears at this point that there will be no supplemental capital budget at all. Initial House and Senate budgets each had proposed funding for the removal of old diesel oil storage tanks and other projects.

The conference budget also adopts the Senate language freezing 2014-2015 tuition at current levels. As we have discussed, CWU requires about $5.2 million to maintain an operational plan that enables us to meet students' academic and support needs, and to operate with efficient and modern systems. My office has shared information about the proposed state budget with our Board of Trustees and we will schedule a meeting with them soon to discuss CWU's fiscal capacity and financial options.

Sincerely,

James L. Gaudino

Sent March 13, 2014 via email to the campus community