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In the News, The state of higher education in Washington State

House budgets fund Spokane, Everett initiatives

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Friday, March 27th marked another important milestone as the Washington State Legislature continues in the 2015-17 biennial budget-making session. The state House of Representatives released its proposed budget on Friday, including accreditation funding for the new WSU medical school. It also funds the expansion efforts at the Everett University Center and includes funding for the construction of a new home for WSU North Puget Sound and the EUC, both priorities for WSU. The Senate Majority Coalition caucus in expected to release its own proposed budget later next week. Then, the two chambers’ leadership members enter into negotiations to approve a final budget that then, must be approved by the Governor. For more details, see below.

Newsbeat – WSU Government Relations

Budget writers in the House of Representatives unveiled operating and capital budget proposals today that fund start-up of a new WSU medical school in Spokane and expansion of the university’s footprint in Everett, among other priorities.

The operating budget proposal funds WSU’s $2.5 million request to support start-up of the medical school and $1.8 million to bring programs in software engineering, data analytics and agriculture to Everett University Center beginning in the 2017 fiscal year. It also provides $1 million to bring an electrical engineering program to Olympic College in Bremerton and provides funding for salary increases of 3 percent this July and 1.8 percent in 2016.

Besides freezing tuition for another two years, it also bolsters the State Need Grant by $53 million.

The capital budget provides $54.6 million to build the proposed academic building at the Everett University Center, WSU’s top capital budget priority. It also provides $30.3 million to fund the Troy Hall renovation in Pullman and $400,000 to fund the pre-design of a new academic building at WSU Tri-Cities.

The proposal does not fund WSU’s $6.6 million request to design the proposed Plant Sciences Building in Pullman.

Hearings on both budgets are scheduled for Monday, March 30th.

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