March 19, 2012
The state legislature began a 30-day special session last Monday. Legislators continue to work on a budget compromise—currently, neither proposal makes further cuts to higher education. However, many decisions are still in flux. Check out the the P&B blog for up-to-date budget information.
Three priority bills passed during the regular session.
- House Bill 2585 provides colleges and universities more operational flexibility in order to improve efficiency. It would give the UW administrative and operational flexibility for purchasing, procurement, human resources and reporting. It is estimated the UW could save over $1 million annually. HB 2585 awaits Governor Gregoire’s signature.
- SJR8223 and SB 6468 would allow investment diversification of UW and WSU operating investments. These measures could eventually generate $10-20M additional revenue annually for the UW without raising taxes. The State Investment Board, which currently manages the state’s pension system, would have management and oversight authority over new investments. SB 6468 awaits Governor Gregoire’s signature, while SJR 8223 will appear on the November ballot.