State Relations

February 20, 2017

News from Olympia: Legislative Session Day 43

The State Relations team has been working overtime coming off of policy cutoff last Friday and gearing up for fiscal cutoff on Friday, February 24! Here are a few highlights from our past couple of weeks:

To date, we’ve successfully passed the critical care roster reauthorization bill out of both the House and Senate Higher Education committees with bipartisan support. The “critical care” bill reinforces a commitment to public health by ensuring that renovations and project upgrades at UW Medical facilities are executed by listed firms on a “critical care roster” with proven expertise and capacity.

Additionally, there was a successful hearing on Wednesday, February 15 on the leasehold excise tax (LET) bill in the Senate Ways and Means committee. The LET bill seeks to reinstate a tax credit to restore fair and equitable tax treatment for tenants of properties publicly owned by research universities and Washington State’s major international airports.  Testimony on the LET bill was provided by Joe Dacca, Director of State Relations, and Tom Schappacher, Real Estate Director of Finance.

Joe Dacca and Tom Schappacher testifying to the Senate Ways and Means committee

Joe Dacca and Tom Schappacher testifying to the Senate Ways and Means committee

President Ana Mari Cauce visited Olympia on Tuesday, February 7 to participate in Huskies on the Hill and State Need Grant Advocacy Day. During her visit, she had an opportunity to meet with members, students, and alumni. Read more here.

President Cauce at the Huskies on the Hill rally

President Cauce at the Huskies on the Hill rally

Dean Michael Bragg from the College of Engineering came to Olympia on Thursday, February 9 to advocate for funding to expand enrollment in engineering as a part of our STEM degree request in our legislative agenda.

On Tuesday, February 14,  Ali Mokdad Professor of Global Health, Epidemiology, and Health Services, and Derek Fulwiler, Director of Project Strategy and Communications, visited Olympia to meet with members in the House and Senate to talk about the University’s Population Health Initiative. Read more about the initiative here.

Derek and Ali

Derek Fulwiler and Ali Mokdad at the Gallery overlooking the House Floor inside the Legislative Building

Policy cutoff week wrapped with the opening of the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds facility on Thursday, February 16. The facility is housed at the Clean Energy Institute at the University. Governor Jay Inslee delivered a keynote speech and toured the facility in celebration of the University’s continued innovation and leadership.

Governor Inslee at Clean Energy Testbeds Facility Governor Inslee Cutting the Ribbon

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