This week (Dec. 17), Governor Jay Inslee released his 2014 supplemental budget proposal, calling it a “hold-steady” budget in a “get ready” year, acknowledging that tough decisions await on the horizon for the next biennial budget in 2015.
The funding levels in the Governor’s supplemental budget proposal will allow UW to maintain its commitment to holding resident undergraduate tuition at current rates through the next academic year. The University of Washington’s Board of Regents are currently the only governing board that have voted on a 0% resident undergraduate tuition increase in both years of the biennium. This budget affirms that vote.
Governor Inslee’s budget proposal also makes a few small, but important investments in targeted areas at UW that will benefit Washington’s economy. These investments include:
- $1 million in state funding for UW’s Institute for Protein Design to spur commercialization of next generation medical research.
- $750,000 in state funding for the Entrepreneurs in Residence program that aids in commercialization of R&D projects at the state’s research universities.
- $500,000 in state funding to define and develop a business plan for an Advanced Materials Manufacturing (aerospace) facility in partnership with local governments and private industry in Snohomish County.
In addition to the above state investments in the University of Washington, Governor Inslee’s budget includes a necessary investment to ensure the College Bound Scholarship Program is fully funded. The College Bound program supports 1,338 students at the UW.
In sum, the Governor’s budget appears to reflect the reality of steady but slow improvement in the state economy. It preserves increased funding levels for higher education that were established last legislative session, and makes several targeted new investments in the University. As the state’s revenue outlook continues to improve, UW will advocate for additional important priorities as part of our 2014 legislative agenda. These include fully funding the State Need Grant program, and making additional state investments in STEM education.
The 2014 legislative session begins on January 13, 2014.
Additional Budget Links
Governor’s News Release (GOV)