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, In the News

Senate budget passes – proposed House budget next Monday

Washington_State_Capital_-Olympia-20000000001556018-500x375

As reported by the Spokesman-Review, the Senate Ways and Means Committee voted on Wednesday evening to increase funding in its budget proposal for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine from $5 million to $10 million for the 2017-2019 biennium, and the entire Senate voted its approval early this morning. The $10 million for expanding medical education matches the level funded in the governor’s budget released in December. WSU has requested $10.8 million to support the charter class of 60 students that will begin their studies on August 17th. The House operating budget proposal is expected to be released Monday, March 27th, and will have a hearing the same afternoon in the House Appropriations Committee. From there, negotiations begin to rectify the proposed budgets

The Spokesman-Review – Jim Camden

OLYMPIA –The Senate narrowly approved a $43 billion operating budget early Friday that attempts to improve Washington schools and pay for it by raising property taxes in some parts of the state while cutting them in others.

After a debate that stretched past midnight, Republicans pushed through their proposal that sets spending for most state programs and salaries on a 25-24 vote. As was foreshadowed by a series of votes on key amendments seeking to change parts of the budget, members of the Republican-led majority caucus all voted yes, Democrats in the minority caucus all voted no.

“This is a good budget. It’s a great starting point,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said, adding that the state would be spending more than half of that budget on schools for the first time since the 1980s.

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, said the education changes don’t go far enough, and the changes to the property tax “creates big winners and big losers” as it takes away property tax authority from local school districts and shifts it to the state.

The debate and vote on Thursday evening on the separate bill containing the proposed education reforms and tax changes matched the final vote on the budget.

It would change the way the state pays for public education, creating a model that gives schools a certain amount for each student, with increases for students who are gifted or have special needs, are poor or don’t speak English as their primary language. It would increase the number slots for Washington students in the state’s public universities and allow a slight increase in tuition. It also calls for changes in social programs, and the amount spent on them, that Republicans lauded and Democrats criticized.

But in the end both realized that the late-night debate and early-morning vote was just another step in the budget process. House Democrats are scheduled to release their budget on Monday, hold hearings and possibly vote next week on what’s certain to be a very different plan on where to spend money and how to collect taxes. If those differences aren’t negotiated into a single plan that can pass both chambers, the Legislature would need a special session for the sixth time in the last seven years.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.