State Relations

March 2, 2020

News from Olympia: House and Senate release budget proposals

It’s week eight and opposite house fiscal committee cutoff is today. Any bills that moved through their house-of-origin (the chamber where they were introduced) must now progress through the opposite house for consideration. In order for bills to get the Governor’s desk, they must move off the floor of the opposite house by 5 p.m. Friday, March 6.

Here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

House and Senate publish budget proposals
The House and Senate released their proposed 2019-21 supplemental operating and capital budgets. The proposals focus on affordable housing, healthcare and behavioral health, and childcare. They also preserved the higher education investments made last session and funded Senate Bill 6492, which addresses college affordability and access.

Major operating and capital budget investments for the UW include:

  • The reappropriation of funding provided in the biennial budget last session for one-time bonuses for lower-wage employees (House and Senate);
  • $1 million in pre-design funding for phase 2 of the Magnuson Health Science Center replacement and renovation (Senate); and
  • $100,000 to preserve and restore the historic ASUW Shell House (Senate).

The budget proposals did not include maintenance and operation funds for the new Hans Rosling Population Health Sciences building.

For an in-depth summary of the proposals, click here to view a brief prepared by the UW’s Office of Planning and Budgeting.

Legislators from both chambers are now negotiating compromise budgets. The budgets must be finalized by the end of session, which is scheduled for March 12.

President Cauce travels to Olympia
President Ana Mari Cauce visited Olympia on Wednesday, Feb. 26 to meet with House and Senate leaders and budget writers. Her day was packed with meetings, during which she discussed the budget proposals and advocated for critical operational funding for the Hans Rosling Population Health facility.

She also had the opportunity to have lunch with UW student interns working in Olympia.

Dr. Dan Schwartz participates in clean energy work session

Dan Schwartz, PhD, Director of the Clean Energy Institute (CEI), was invited by the House Environment and Energy Committee to provide information about CEI’s mission and efforts. He introduced the committee to CEI’s education programs, transformational facilities, and cutting-edge research.

Thank you, Dr. Schwartz for presenting at this work session!