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2015 Legislature Begins 105-Day Fire Drill

Welcome to "The Briefing Room," a weekly update that tries to translate legislative activity into logical, meaningful units of information--when possible.

CWU has lots at stake this year.  We're hoping the state construction budget will help us transform the crumbling hulk in the center of campus into Samuelson STEM—a state of the art facility for Mathematics, ITAM, Computer Science, and online learning. We've asked for flexibility or cash from the state operating budget. Flexibility means the authority to increase tuition. We'll need it if the legislature doesn't provide funding to fill the deficit created when the legislature suspended state tuition law and froze tuition (without backfilling it).

What happens this session? Every other year the legislative session is extra long--I know, they all seem extra long. This one is 105 days, but could well go longer. The votes separating Republicans and Democrats are closer than ever in both the House and the Senate. And the issues before policymakers are, as always, incredibly complex.

Top issues in this legislative session? State employee pay, transportation, carbon pricing, K-12 education, and taxes. You may have noticed higher education isn't on this list; it rarely is. Never the less, our excellent government relations team, backed up by alumni, trustees, students, and all of you, dear readers, will help us achieve our challenging goals.

This week in Olympia, legislative committees will examine the governor's budget proposal. "Team CWU," as Gov Relations Director Ann Anderson likes to call them, will meet with legislators, participate in policy meetings, read bills and.....

  • Today Steve DuPont will outline our supplemental budget request before the House Appropriations, and ask why the governor's budget appears to assume increases in tuition revenue without allowing an increase in tuition. He'll reprise this presentation Wednesday in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
  • Tuesday the House Technology and Economic Development committee will hold a word session featuring our own professor Elvin Delgado and his new Institute for Integrated Energy Studies.

Other higher education matters that will come before various committees this week include a bill that clarifies under what circumstances students under 21 can taste alcohol (for wine and beer programs) and pensions.

This year it's a blog, it's an email, and it's a Central Today post. There's no escape. Please email me your questions, corrections, disputations, and other communications and I will do my best to make sense of our legislative work. 

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 12:45

Questions? Comments? Email Linda Schactler

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