State Relations

March 22, 2017

Senate 2017-19 Operating Budget Highlights

Coming off the heels of the March revenue forecast, the Senate dropped their operating budget (SB 5048) proposal yesterday morning. To read more details about how the budget would affect UW, check out the Operating Budget brief prepared by the UW Office of Planning & Budgeting. There are notable wins and concerns to work through as we move forward in the budget negotiation process.

Senate Budget Blog Post Pic

Key investments in the Senate budget proposal include:

UW School of Medicine

The Senate proposed $5 million in funding to sustain our UW School of Medicine partnership with Gonzaga University in Spokane. This will maintain support for 60 students per year in Spokane.

In addition, $6 million was proposed to support Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM) research at the UW. Read more about ISCRM here.

Investments in High Demand Degrees

The university would receive $10.5 million to make investments in science, technology, engineering and math programs across our three campuses.

Areas of concern include:

Faculty and Staff Compensation

The budget falls short in providing fair levels of compensation for UW faculty & staff. The university is requesting additional funding to better align with peer institutions and help employees to keep up with the rising cost of living in the Puget Sound region.

State Need Grant

Unfortunately, no funding was included to cover any of the 24,000 students across the state that are eligible, but do not currently receive aid from the State Need Grant (SNG).

Tuition Waivers

The university would see cuts in tuition waivers by $5.1 million under this budget. Reductions in waiver amounts would impact student veterans, low-income resident students underserved by the SNG, and non-resident graduate and professional differential waivers that are critical for UW’s world class graduate programs and groundbreaking research activities.

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

The Senate proposed a cut of $6.2 million used for outreach, education, and research projects that help prevent injuries and illnesses among frontline workers across the state.  This program has collaborated with the Department of Labor and Industries and employers for decades to protect the health of firefighters, agricultural workers, industrial employees, and the general public.

We expect the House operating budget proposal to come out early next week and we are still waiting for the release of capital budget proposals. Read more about all of the university’s legislative priorities here.

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