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State Relations

2007 Interim

August 6, 2007

K-12 Finance Panel Formed

One of the most significant items on the “left to do” list from the Governor’s Washington Learns initiative was the formation of a high-level task force to review the financing of the state’s K-12 education system and to make recommendations for reform.  During the 2007 session, the legislature created a new state Task Force on…

July 28, 2007

Rep. Ross Hunter Battling Cancer at UWMC

Most of us who follow the Olympia beat sensed during the tail end of the 2007 legislative session that something was bothering Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Bellevue).  The usually cheerful and energetic House Finance Committee chairman and former Microsoft employee didn’t seem like his usual self.  Most knew Hunter had successfully battled lymphoma during 2006 and was now contemplating…

July 23, 2007

Controversial EWU Spokane Building is Sold

Last week, Eastern Washington University quietly sold its downtown Spokane center to a Portland-based real estate company for $3.4 million, a sale authorized in this year’s legislatively enacted budget.  Higher education old-timers will remember this facility as the controversial “Frederickson building” purchased back in the early 1980’s by former EWU president George Frederickson. The former Spokane…

July 18, 2007

DNR Begins 50th Anniversary Celebration

Today marks the beginning of a year long 50th anniversary celebration for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  At a ceremony in the rotunda of the Natural Resources Building in Olympia, State Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland will be joined by former commissioners Jennifer Belcher and Brian Boyle (currently with the UW College of Forest Resources)…

July 17, 2007

Rodney Tom to Run for Congress

State Senator Rodney Tom, the newly elected Democratic senator in the 48th legislative district (Bellevue, Redmond) announced today his intention to enter the 8th congressional district House race.  The eastside seat (which has never been won by a Democrat) is currently held by Rep. Dave Reichert who is serving his second term after a long…

July 16, 2007

November Ballot Likely to Include an Eyman Initiative

Associated Press political writer Dave Ammons noted recently that it appears all systems are go for Tim Eyman’s latest anti-tax initiative to capture a spot on the November 2007 general election ballot. Last Friday, Eyman cleared two big hurdles to getting I-960 before the voters this fall.  First, a King County Superior Court judge rejected an…

July 13, 2007

Busy Week for State Relations

Sorry to have been so unattentive to the blog this week.  Much going on that kept me away from the computer.  Spent all day Wednesday working with UW and OFM staff on issues related to the new UW Snohomish-Island-Skagit campus.  A familiar local firm, NBBJ, has been retained to help manage the site evaluation process, and…

July 5, 2007

More on the State Population Forecast: Spokane or Tacoma … Who’s Really No. 2?

One of the things that caught my eye in the recent state population figures released by the Governor’s budget office was that Tacoma is really gaining on Spokane for status as the state’s second largest city.  Both cities have populations just over the 200,000 mark, separated by less than 2,000 residents. According to the Tacoma…

Arizona Higher Ed Officials Happy with 2007 Session

Just for fun, let’s continue our 2007 session wrap-up tour of PAC 10 schools (we covered Oregon just the other day) with a closer look at Arizona and how UA and ASU fared in the recently enacted Arizona 2007-08 budget. Spending on public universities in Arizona will increase by $115 million or just shy of 12%…

July 3, 2007

Oregon Higher Education Gets Budget Boost

Washington was not the only northwest state to provide strong budgetary support for its higher education system during the 2007 legislative session.  Oregon lawmakers recently wrapped up work on their 2007-09 biennial budget and the Oregon Department of Higher Education (Oregon University System) received a two-year increase of more than 18 percent.  This is the largest…

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