State Relations

January 12, 2016

UW releases 2016 state legislative agenda

Today, the University released its legislative priorities for the 2016 session that began yesterday in Olympia. The governor delivered his State of the State address this afternoon, with Board Chair Bill Ayer representing the UW Board of Regents as one of the governor’s guests.

Here is a quick overview of what’s on the agenda:

Make the University Whole – Implementing the state’s new tuition policy

A critical piece of the state’s new tuition policy is its commitment to fully compensate institutions for the tuition revenue they will lose due to the reduction. As the tuition backfill in the adopted 2015-17 budget was based on outdated enrollment numbers, we seek $4.4 million to make the UW whole.

Expanding our Successful Rural Dentistry Program in Spokane

UW requests state funding to expand the UW School of Dentistry’s Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program in Spokane and Eastern Washington with the addition of a simulation lab and expanded clinical rotation opportunities. RIDE trains students to practice in rural and underserved areas, and partners with Eastern Washington University and others in the community to improve oral health across our state.

Restoring Fairness for Public Agencies Paying Leasehold Excise Tax

Part of the leasehold excise tax (LET) statute was deleted by a 2013 bill, and as a result the UW now pays additional excess tax out of a fund which otherwise pays for repair and maintenance projects. The UW supports the ability of public property owners to once again pay taxes equal to – not greater than– those of private property owners.

Computer Science & Engineering – Making more degrees a reality

In the 2015 legislative session, the legislature dedicated a total of $32.5 million toward our new Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) building, helping double CSE degree production. However, $15.0 million was taken from the UW’s own building account, which pays for systemwide repairs and maintenance. We ask the legislature to allocate $15.0 million in the state bonds to restore the building account funds to their intended and much-needed purpose.

Click here to view and download the 2016 Legislative Agenda document.