State Relations

HEC Board Endorses a Limited 2008 Budget Agenda

Last Thursday, representatives from the four-year and two-year institutions attended the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) meeting at WSU Vancouver to present their respective 2008 supplemental budget proposals.  As you may know, the University is asking Olympia for about $21 million additional state dollars on the operating side and about $19 million in additional capital budget support.

Prior to the meeting, however, the Board’s fiscal committee decided to follow the lead of the Governor’s Office of Financial Management and endorse only those supplemental requests that corrected technical errors in the underlying 2007-09 biennial budget or which addressed emergent or critical needs.  Insitutional policy requests, which the Board acknowledged had merit, would be deferred for consideration in the 2009-11 budget cycle.

So, which UW budget requests made the HECB cut?  Well, not too many.  Only three of the University’s nine individual operating budget requests received a “Do Pass” recommendation from the Board including proposals to restore the cut to non-resident graduate student subsidies ($1.9 million); provide for a safer campus ($862,000), and establish a recruitment and retention salary pool for professional staff and librarians ($3.3 million).  On the capital side, only our $4.5 million request related to campus safety was recommended.

The Governor is now just beginning her review of all agency supplemental budget requests so the University’s attention turns to the executive branch.  Her 2008 supplemental budget recommendations are due to be forwarded to the Legislature no later than December 20, 2007.