State Relations

House Subcommittee Budget Mostly Follows Governor’s Blueprint

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education released their operating budget recommendations today at a 12:15 p.m. press conference in Olympia.  Committee chair Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-Shelton) was joined by several of her House Democratic colleagues including Rep. Ruth Kagi, Rep. Joe McDermott, Rep. Pat Sullivan, Rep. Deb Wallace, Rep. Dave Quall, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Helen Sommers for the unveiling of the $17.4 billion spending proposal covering early learning, K-12 and higher education.

For the University of Washington, the budget news was very good.  The committee budget recommendations generally followed Governor Gregoire’s December outline, with funding included for compensation increases, additional enrollments (including additional high demand slots and expansion of UW Tacoma and UW Bothell), support for global health, the Spokane WWAMI/RIDE expansion and a number of other items.

The major policy difference was the subcommittee’s decision to limit tuition increases for resident undergraduates at the UW to 5% per year instead of the 7% per year recommended by the Governor.  The subcommittee budget, however, did include an additional $6.1 million in state funding to “make-up” for the additional revenue that will be lost due to 2% lower tuition level.

The subcommittee will take public testimony on this budget proposal at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  They will vote on the recommendations at an 8:00 p.m. hearing tomorrow night.  The recommendations will be forwarded to the full House Appropriations Committee which will unveil their 2007-09 biennial budget recommendations in mid to late March.