State Relations

December 15, 2008

A good reminder

Two stories in the news today serve as a good reminder that the release of the Governor’s budget proposal this Thursday is just the first step in a months-long process, and that the legislature will have its own ideas of how to close the funding gap. An article in the Olympian examines a number of…

December 12, 2008

Some sad news from Olympia

House leaders have announced that longtime State Rep. Bill Grant of Walla Walla has been diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. In addition to serving on the Appropriations and Rules Committees, Rep. Grant was the majority caucus chair — his frequent announcements of a “There will be a Democratic Caucus immediately,” are well-known…

December 11, 2008

In the news

Today’s edition of The Olympian has a strong editorial on the challenges faced by lawmakers this session and the need to maintain our investments in higher education during the downturn. The paper’s editorial board met yesterday with President Emmert. Here is a portion of the editorial: The challenge of Gregoire and lawmakers is much the…

December 10, 2008

More from the budget front

The Governor’s budget is now tentatively scheduled to be released the morning of December 18. There are literally hundreds of decisions that go into the final preparation of a budget proposal, so people involved are emphasizing that it could slip a day — but not much more since state law requires the proposal to be…

December 8, 2008

Senate Committee Chairs Named

Senate Democrats have announced their committee lineup and chairs for the upcoming session.  In the biggest change affecting higher education, the Higher Education Committee has been renamed “Higher Education and Workforce Development” with Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor taking the chairmanship.  Former Chair Sen. Paull Shin will lead a new subcommittee on International Relations. …

December 5, 2008

Assembly Update, part 2

Earlier this year the University announced the creation of a new College of the Environment, designed to draw together a number of degree programs and to serve as a hub for multidisciplinary education and research on environmental issues. Yesterday the Senate Natural Resources, Ocean and Recreation Committee took up how the creation of the new…

December 4, 2008

Assembly update

President Emmert was in Olympia Wednesday meeting with a number of key lawmakers as members gathered for the Legislative Assembly. He also met Thursday with Governor Gregoire for an in-depth discussion of the issues facing higher education. On the hill, besides a full slate of committee hearings, plenty of time was allocated to meetings to…

December 2, 2008

Clearing up a cloud of dust

“Three yards and a cloud of dust” is an old football saying, originally used to describe Ohio State’s offense under Woody Hayes. It could also apply to some of the debate over the University’s proposal to renovate Husky Stadium which continues to move forward, but not without some dust getting thrown up in the process….

December 1, 2008

Lawmakers back in Olympia

It’s Legislative Assembly week and there will be no shortage of discussion about the state’s big shortage of cash. This marks the first time since the election and the most recent revenue forecast that lawmakers have gathered in Olympia for a full slate of committee hearings. Given the growing budget problems facing the state, the…

November 19, 2008

More on This Morning’s Revenue Forecast

OFM Director Victor Moore just told the press that they will have to go back out to state agencies to find additional reductions for this biennium.  That’s because with the projected loss of $500 million in 2007-09, the state is now likely in the “red” in the current fiscal year.  This could mean more reductions…

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