April 4, 2007

Debt Authority Bill Passes Legislature — Next Stop Governor

By Randy Hodgins

The University’s primary request legislation for the 2007 session was permission to issue bonds or other forms of debt for any university purpose, to be paid from all locally controlled fees and revenues.  Such legislation would provide the UW with the capability to act with speed and certainty when issuing debt and to fund construction or acquire real estate.  In addition, broader local borrowing authority would permit us to streamline our borrowing process, reducing our overall cost of funds.

Two measures were introduced this session (HB 1398 and SB 5384) which expanded local borrowing authority for both the UW and WSU.  On Monday of this week, the State Senate unanimously passed HB 1398 and the bill will shortly be delivered to the Governor for her signature.

Passage of this bill will permit the University to finance the long-term costs of the recently purchased UW Tower at a lower cost than other options currently available.

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