State Relations

September 10, 2008

House Hearing to Focus on UW Research

Last week, the state Senate held committee hearings in Vancouver, WA as part of their September “assembly days.”  Tomorrow and Friday, the House of Representatives takes their turn in Olympia.

Rep. Helen Sommers will chair what might be one of her final hearing as chair of the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.  Sommers, who has served in the state legislature since 1973 is retiring this year after 16 consecutive terms.  On the committee’s agenda is a presentation by UW Vice Provost for Research Mary Lidstrom on the status of the University’s “advanced technology initiatives” which were originally funded by the state beginning in the 1999-01 biennium.

This was one of the first attempts by the state legislature in a number of years to provide state funding for UW research activities — especially activities which had a great chance of leveraging other non-state research dollars.  In each case — infectious diseases precision forestry, computer animation and digital media — the return on investment has been significant.  An additional initiative in photonics was funded in 2001-03 which has also been quite successful.

On Friday, the House Higher Education Committee will hold a joint hearing with House Health Care and Wellness on health care provider shortages and training.  School of Medicine Dean Paul Ramsey will be one of the presenters at this meeting which begins at 10:00 a.m. in House Hearing Room A.