State Relations

March 16, 2020

News from Olympia: Legislature adjourns after passing supplemental budget

On Thursday, March 12, the legislature adjourned on time after passing the 2019-21 supplemental budget. In the final hours, the legislature included $200 million for the state’s COVID-19 response efforts. These funds go towards a comprehensive response to the virus including greater access to testing, supporting efforts to slow transmission, and expanding unemployment insurance for displaced workers. The bill that provided these funds (HB 2965) was a top priority of the legislature in the final weeks and passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

Other supplemental budget highlights include the preservation of critical higher education and financial aid investments made last session. The legislature fulfilled the UW’s request for re-appropriation of one-time payments to represented employees, as well as reauthorized and funded the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology and Innovation (JCATI). Additionally, numerous provisos for research projects and programs at the UW were included in the final budget, one of which was $300,000 to help train sexual assault nurse examiners in rural areas around the state.

In the capital budget, $1 million in pre-design funding for phase 2 of the Magnuson Health Science Center renovation and replacement project was appropriated to the University. The current health sciences complex operates well beyond capacity and with mostly original infrastructure. This project will ultimately allow the UW to further increase and modernize our health science workforce training capacity. The UW also received $100,000 to restore the historic ASUW Shell House.

For a comprehensive summary of the operating and capital budgets, view these briefs prepared by the UW’s Office of Planning and Budgeting.

The UW Office of State Relations is grateful to the UW community for their efforts in Olympia this session. Stay tuned for updates during the interim.