State Relations

December 19, 2007

Some Thoughts on the State Capital Budget

We have talked about the challenges the University faces when it comes to dealing with a multi-million backlog of capital facilities projects and the difficulties faced by legislators in putting all the pieces together in the state capital budget.  The piece below is part of a regular communication which UW Foundation leaders Orin Smith, Dan

December 18, 2007

Governor’s 2008 Supplemental Budget Released

Governor Gregoire released her 2008 supplemental budget proposal this morning in Olympia.  The $144 million general fund spending proposal includes a “net” total of $99 million in what she terms “required spending items” such as caseloads, litigation, federal requirements, a one-time $105 million savings in health care benefit costs (see below) and other unavoidable costs. The supplemental budget also calls

December 17, 2007

New York Higher Education Commission to Release Report

In his successful campaign for Governor last year, Eliot Spitzer asked why New York did not have a “Berkeley of the East” and said he wanted New York’s public colleges to be among the finest in the nation.  Spitzer’s remark lead to the creation of a 30-member State Commission on Higher Education which releases its

December 14, 2007

Helen Sommers Re-Election Watch Begins

Public radio reporter Austin Jenkins wrote this story for yesterday about what has been a hot topic in the Olympia rumor mill for a number of weeks — will Rep. Helen Sommers (D-Seattle) run for re-election in 2008? Sommers, who is 75 is the chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and a longtime friend

Olympia News and Notes

With the departure of Rep. Jon Lovick from the state legislature due to his election as the new Snohomish County Sherrif, Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Anacortes) has been elected by his caucus to be House Speaker Pro Tem.  In this capacity, Morris will preside over floor debate when House Speaker Frank Chopp is not at the

December 13, 2007

Rep. Fred Jarrett to Switch Parties — Run for State Senate

According to Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman, Rep. Fred Jarrett (R-Mercer Island), a long-time supporter of higher education announced today he is switching parties and will run for the state Senate next year in the 41st district as a Democrat.  Incumbent Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-Mercer Island) has also announced his retirement, clearing the

Supplemental Budget Update — Campus Safety

Hope most of you saw the story’s in the papers yesterday about the Governor’s proposals to improve campus safety at the state’s universities and colleges.  The UW had requested a total of $5.3 million for various campus safety initiatives in our 2008 supplemental budget request.  This included: $4.5 million one-time funding for a mass notification

December 11, 2007

State Auditor Report Criticizes WSU Tri Cities

According to a story in this morning’s Tri City Herald, a state auditor’s report released on Monday has found that staff members at WSU Tri Cities improperly manipulated data to inflate the campuses reported enrollment.  The report stems from a whistleblower complaint June 21 that alleged that campus officials were complicit in inflating student credit

December 10, 2007

Arizona Universities’ Trying Different Tuition Increase Approaches

After years of slow to moderate tuition increases, Arizona’s three major universities are poised for significant jumps in the resident undergraduate tuition in the next academic year.  However, two of the schools are also trying novel approaches to keeping that tuition predictable over the course of the student’s period of study. Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe will

December 7, 2007

Strow To Resign House Seat for PSRC Position

Rep. Chris Strow (R-Freeland) who represents the 10th District in the state legislature (Island County and parts of Snohomish County) will resign his seat next week to take a fulltime position with the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) in Seattle.  Strow told the Associated Press today that the heavy time pressure of campaigning and serving

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