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Public Affairs

Governor Inslee's Budget Proposals

Today the governor released budget recommendations for the 2015-2017 state budgets--and there actually was some good news! 

CAPITAL BUDGET

Gov. Inslee proposes to fund almost all of CWU's capital request for a total of about $106 million for construction, maintenance, and renovation. Here are the highlights.

  • Samuelson Computer science & Technology Center $58.6M
  • Health Sciences $4.3M - a new facility to house the Dept of NEHS
  • Lind Hall Renovation $4.9M - renovated to accommodate ROTC and student services when Science II is completed and Physics and Geology move out of Lind
  • Old Heat Annex demolition/construction $4.9M state funding and $8.4 in bond authority Bouillon Preservation $4.98M - renovation to create a permanent CWU Welcome Center and a community education and continuing education facility.


The Governor's budget also would fund progress on replacing old, tired utilities. There's $8M proposed for that.

OPERATING BUDGET

Inslee's proposed biennial operating budget results in a net gain to CWU of about $3.8 million: $1.8 million for cost-of-living adjustments and $2 million to increase degree production in STEM fields.

Unfortunately, the governor proposes to make room in his budget for various budget increases by reducing funding for Running Start. As you may know, CWU is a leader in providing baccalaureate content to high schools. CWU now is providing Running Start in more than 100 high schools.

Gov. Inslee proposes to freeze tuition for the biennium and to rewrite state tuition law. The new law would place tuition-setting authority firmly within the purview of the legislature and governor, and would revoke some of the accountability and tuition-mitigation requirements of that law.

State law requires the governor to propose a no-new-taxes budget in December. The governor did release this document today; it contained an across-the-board cut of 10 percent. The governor's staff instructed agencies to ignore this plan, stating that it is not the governor's plan and offered a succinct "bleh" [yes, that's a direct quote] to characterize the governor's position on this required document.

SO WHAT?

The capital budget proposal is outstanding; the operating budget could be much worse. Before you begin celebrating in earnest, however, please keep in mind that the regular session of the legislature doesn't begin till January and will end in April. There are many, many miles to go before we have a final budget.
 

Date: 
Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 16:45

Questions? Comments? Email Linda Schactler

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