State Relations

April 2, 2021

State Relations briefs campus on the 2021 legislative session

Today, the Office of State Relations held a campus-wide legislative session update. State Relations Director Joe Dacca shared the latest news “from” Olympia—including an overview of the House and Senate budget proposals—and answered questions.

As a refresher, the House and Senate budget proposals included solid investments in the higher education sector and the University of Washington alleviating fears of across-the-board cuts resulting from poor 2020 revenue forecasts. For an in-depth overview of the proposed operating and capital budgets, see the UW Office of Planning and Budgeting’s brief on this page.

The most asked question during today’s webinar was whether UW faculty and staff should expect furloughs over the 2021-23 biennium to which Joe enthusiastically responded “no.” Due to the improved revenue forecast and federal support, the House and Senate operating budget proposals maintain the University’s base budget without requiring faculty and staff to take mandated furlough days. The budgets also carry forward funding originally intended to partially support salary increases in Fiscal Year 2021 into the new biennium.

There were also several questions about specific pieces of legislation. The Washington State Legislature website is an excellent resource for information about a bill’s progress through the legislative process, proposed amendments, and available videos to public hearings and executive sessions where the bill is discussed and voted on by legislators. To find the status of current legislation, click here.

Finally, many questions were asked about the status of federal COVID relief funds. The University has received federal relief dollars to support students and help offset the fiscal emergency caused by the ongoing pandemic. To stay up to date on what’s happening at the federal level, visit the UW Office of Federal Relations blog.

The Office of State Relations anticipates legislative session will end on time on April 25 and plans to host a post-session campus update shortly thereafter. In the meantime, stay tuned for updates.