Week one of the 2010 legislative session has been intense. Thanks for your patience as I’ve settled into my groove as the new Director of State Relations. I hit the ground running in Olympia on January 11th and haven’t stopped since. Here are some updates.
Not surprisingly, concerns about the budget have dominated most conversations in Olympia. The legislature has just 60 days to balance a $2.6 billion shortfall in the 2010 state’s operating budget. This week, Governor Gregoire laid out her priorities in her annual State of the State Address . She called specifically for restoration of critical funding for the State Need Grant program and for competitive tuition flexibility for our public universities. The Seattle Times article this week sets the stage for those discussions. More on this later in the week.
Senator Randy Gordon, from the 40th district, was recently sworn in to replace former Senator Fred Jarrett. Senator Jarrett left the Senate to fill the No. 2 spot in County Executive Dow Constantine’s office.
The Office of Planning and Budgeting has developed a new bill tracking system with information on legislation of interest to the UW. Kudos to the OPB team that has been working feverishly to put this together. You can try out the bill tracker at the Office of Planning and Budget website. Let us know what you think!
Also, you can find out about my 9th grade political accomplishments and the University’s 2010 agenda in last week’s University Weekly.
It’s great to be here. More to come soon!