WSU is advancing Washington industries …
WSU teams with aviation to develop sustainable aviation biofuels …
WSU partners to develop bioproducts that reduce dependence on petroleum imports …
WSU works with state commodity commissions to conduct needed agricultural research …
WSU developed the technology used for wood-plastic composites used for buildings …
WSU researchers work to improve dairy productivity and reduce disease …
WSU research has made Washington one of the world’s most productive wheat-growing regions …

"Take Five" for WSU and higher education, Cougar Chat, In the News

2015 Legislative Session Moves into New Stages

school bus and capital

The 2015-17 budget session of the state legislature is in full swing. The legislative process in our state is marked by cut-off deadlines – or key dates when proposed legislation in the form of bills have been offered, public hearings held, and committees’ decide either to vote down the proposed bill or move it along in the relatively arduous, deliberative democratic process.

Friday, February 20th marked the first in these series of legislative deadlines that act to regulate the flow of bills during the course of the biennial budget session. The session is scheduled to be 105 days in length.

All so-called “policy bills” had to be moved out of their policy committee of origin in order to stay alive for the next phase of the legislative processes.

Among the advancing policy bills that WSU Impact is tracking are concurrent bills in the House and Senate authorizing WSU to pursue a state license allowing minors in enology and viticulture programs to taste but not consume wine as part of their instruction. This element of an enology and viticulture curricula is already allowed at community colleges.

Next Friday, February 27th marks the deadline for bills with fiscal impacts and hence, being considered in the budget committees to be voted out and continue to make their way through the legislative process.

doctors and patientsLegislation to authorize WSU to pursue a medical school now resides in both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Senate Bill 5487 was heard in the Senate on Wednesday February 18th. To watch WSU President Elson S. Floyd’s testimony before the Senate Ways and Means committee, please click here.  This bill is considered a high priority for WSU.

Also on February 20th, the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released a new forecast indicating that revenues for the current 2013-15 budget cycle are $107 million more than previously projected and the forecast for the coming 2015-17 budget cycle are $129 million more than previously projected.

Both increases represent relatively small changes in what will be a total of $37 billion appropriated for the state’s overall two year budget. The Legislature will use the latest revenue forecast to write the 2015-17 biennial budget. Once approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Legislature will send the proposed budget to the governor this spring. At that time, the governor can approve the budget and/or amend accordingly.

The entire list of bills passed out of the first cutoff session can be viewed here. If you are marking your calendar, after the fiscal bill cut-off this Friday, the next important cut-off date is March 11th, the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.