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In the News

WSU offers support for Senate budget

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As anticipated, the state Senate released its proposed operating biennial budget yesterday. The operating budget pays for the day-to-day operations of state government, including public universities like Washington State University. Knowing that most of the money the state uses to pay for state services comes from taxes, the differences between the state House proposed budget and the state Senate proposed budget rests primarily on the revenue side of the equation e.g., whether to rely on existing revenue sources or to include a new tax source. Below are more details on how WSU is faring on the proposed state Senate budget:

The state Senate unveiled its proposed operating budget yesterday and the Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on the proposal yesterday afternoon. WSU weighed in with its support.

Similar to the House proposed operating budget, the Senate proposal provides $2.5 million in start-up funding for WSU’s request to pursue accreditation for a new medical school in Spokane. Additionally, the Senate funded $4 million to bolster STEM degree production at the university.

It also funded half of WSU’s $4.5 million request to bring four new degree programs to the Everett University Center. The university has proposed to offer new programs in software engineering, data analytics and agriculture as well as for Central Washington University to offer an aviation management degree. Please click here to learn more about the WSU proposal for expanding degree programs for  EUC students.

The Senate proposal also would provide funding to backfill a 27 percent tuition reduction at WSU over the next two academic years. The budget also funds small compensation increases for university employees.

State Budget 101 – what are the next steps:

images-157We can anticipate that the state House proposed operating budget and the state Senate proposed operating budget will be voted on by each of the two chambers. Once these votes have taken place, the two versions of the proposed operating budgets must be reconciled in what is referred to as the budget conference process.

Generally, six fiscal leaders representing both the state House and the state Senate and both political parties meet as a conference committee to prepare the legislative budget that is then submitted to the full legislature for final passage and then delivered to the Governor for his/her signature.

In our state, the Governor may veto all or part of the budget, thereby eliminating funding for certain activities; however the Governor cannot add money for any program that the Legislature providing no funding. Only after the Legislature passes the reconciled budget and the Governor signs it has the created a real biennial budget to the fund the state for two years.

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