State Relations

February 18, 2019

News from Olympia: Legislative session day 36, Speaker Chopp teams with UW Medicine

It’s the start of week six of the 2019 Legislative Session and the legislature is fast approaching policy committee cutoff. This Friday, Feb. 22, is the last day to read in committee reports (pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor) in house of origin, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.

Here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

Speaker Chopp teams with UW Medicine to prime sponsor his first bill in 20 years!

Speaker Frank Chopp testified before the House College & Workforce Development committee on his first prime sponsored legislation in 20 years. House Bill 1593 establishes a behavioral health innovation and integration campus within the UW School of Medicine, which will strengthen the psychiatry residency program and work with each of UW’s Schools of Health Sciences to train current and future health care providers to address behavioral health needs across the state. Dr. Jurgen Unutzer, Chair of UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, traveled to Olympia to testify alongside Speaker Chopp at this exciting hearing.

To view the hearing, click here.

Speaker Chopp blog post (3)

Senate votes to confirm Regent Zhou

The Senate voted unanimously to confirm Kaitlyn Zhou to the University’s Board of Regents. Sen. Randall, Vice Chair of the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development committee, spoke in favor of her nomination. To watch the floor vote, click here.

Regent Zhou is an incoming master’s student at the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. She holds a B.S. and a B.S.E. in Computer Science and Human Centered Design and Engineering. Congratulations, Regent Zhou! The UW is very fortunate to have your leadership.

Regent Zhou confirmation blog post (2)UW Health Sciences deans hard at work at the Capitol

HS Deans blog post (2)Our health sciences deans spent their Valentine’s Day meeting with legislators to advocate for construction funding for a new health sciences education building in Seattle.

The building will allow interdisciplinary team-based learning for all six health sciences schools (medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, public health, and social work), which are ranked among the highest in the nation. It will serve 8,000 students with 17 percent projected enrollment growth, in addition to continuing education for current health-care professionals across the state.

Thank you deans – Sean Sullivan (Pharmacy), Hilary Godwin (Public Health), Eddie Uehara (Social Work), Gary Chiodo (Dentistry), and Frank Barber (Nursing).


Dr. Dan Schwartz visits Olympia to advocate for CAMCET

Dan Schwartz, PhD, Director of the Clean Energy Institute, visited Olympia to advocate for the Center for Advanced Materials and Clean Energy Technologies (CAMCET), which is part of the UW’s 2019 legislative agenda. CAMCET needs the necessary resources to operate as the nation’s premier open-access facility for sharing academic and industry-relevant clean energy research instrumentation and technology. Dr. Schwartz spent his day providing legislators with an overview on all of the amazing work the Clean Energy Institute is doing and their plans for the future.