Sorry to have been away from the blog for so long, but a family trip and my new duties as Interim VP for External Affairs have pushed the blog to the background for awhile. However, budget news continues to dominate the last few entries and today is no exception.
At noon today, Governor Gregoire announced a series of budget actions which will reduce spending in the current 2009 fiscal year by a total of $330 million. The components of these reductions include $90 million from the hiring, equipment and travel freeze she announced last month, $200 million in new savings the Governor directed her budget office to find after the most recent revenue forecast, and another $40 million in savings recently requested by the Governor due to the turmoil in the financial markets. Here’s the official news release from the Governor’s Office.
Conversations with staff in the Governor’s budget office today indicate that the UW’s share of these reductions is $9.6 million, which represents about two percent of our total FY 2009 state funds appropriation. It’s important to note that this is not an “automatic” budget reduction, but will be included in the Governor’s budget recommendations to the Legislature. Ultimately, it will be up to the state legislature to decide whether these reductions are implemented and how much will be cut from each agency’s current biennial budget.