State Relations

March 1, 2016

2016 Session: It’s been a whirlwind!

The past seven weeks have flown by, filled with testimony, legislative agendas, and plenty of policy discussion. Here are a few of the things that have been going on while we’ve been here at the capitol.

President Cauce visits Olympia

President Ana Mari Cauce made three trips to Olympia to thank legislators for historic investments in higher education in 2015 and to discuss the university’s priorities for this year. Here are a few of the pictures and behind the scenes video from President Cauce’s visits.

Regents’ visit coincides with Huskies on the Hill, and Harry the Husky says hi!

On February 8, the capitol campus in Olympia could have been mistaken for UW’s Red Square–purple and gold was the theme of the day. Regents, UW Bothell Chancellor Wolf Yeigh, dozens of undergraduate and graduate students, and even Harry the Husky met with members of the House and Senate to advocate for UW. Check out photos from the day on the State Relations Facebook page.

Faculty experts present to legislators

Much like the testimony an expert witness gives in a courtroom, legislators will call on researchers to present on a wide variety of subjects. Quite often, presenters will include members of the UW community. Here are just a few of the faculty and staff who shared their expertise to assist lawmakers during the 2016 legislative session.

  • Tom DeLuca, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, in House Capital Budget and Senate Ways & Means
  • Mark Hallenbeck, UW’s Washington State Transportation Center office, in the House Transportation Committee
  • James Dorsey, Washington MESA, in the Senate Higher Education Committee

Budget update – Moving into the final stretch

By its nature–limited time and limited funds–the supplemental session offers modest opportunities for both policy and budget. The most recent state revenue forecast in mid-February dealt a blow to the state’s spending plans, and has made negotiating a supplemental budget more challenging. The forecast reduced the current biennium’s revenues by $67 million and the upcoming biennium’s by another $442 million.

Last week, both the House and the Senate released their opening budget proposals, and passed them off their respective floors. While these are a good indicator of the two majorities’ policy priorities, a lot will change as the budget writers negotiate details toward a final compromise budget. Read more about the contrasting budget proposals here. Stay tuned for details on higher education budget impacts over the next few days.


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