State Relations

August 28, 2020

Construction begins on the UW’s new health sciences education building

Sen. David Frockt and the deans of the UW’s six health science schools (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Social Work) helped break ground on the new Health Sciences Education Building on Aug. 27. Slated to open in May 2022, the four-story building will serve 8,000 students across the six health science schools, which…

August 5, 2020

WA State holds primary election

The 2020 primary election was held yesterday, Aug. 4. Washington’s top-two primary system allows voters to choose any candidate running in each race, regardless of political party. The two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election on Nov. 3. There are more than 4.6 million registered voters in Washington who vote entirely…

June 18, 2020

Two year economic forecast confirms steep decline in state revenue

The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released their June quarterly report yesterday showing the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy. The Council predicts a staggering $4.5 billion revenue shortfall for the current 2019-21 biennium. The state’s General Fund has a cumulative shortfall of approximately $452 million (5.6%) since February 11. Washington employment numbers…

April 30, 2020

State forecast shows increase in unemployment, but COVID-19 impacts not yet available

Today, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council provided an update on the state’s fiscal reality and outlook prior to the usual quarterly forecast scheduled in June. The forecast is based on February numbers and incorporates the Governor’s budget vetoes. Due to normal delays in fiscal reporting, the forecast does not yet show a…

April 7, 2020

Governor signs budget but vetoes new spending in response to COVID-19

On Friday, April 3, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the supplemental operating budget into law, but vetoed 147 new funding items approved by the legislature to reduce spending by nearly $445 million over the next three years. The Governor used his veto powers in anticipation of a significant decline in state revenue due to the ongoing…

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…

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….

February 11, 2020

News from Olympia: Higher education investments preserved

It’s week five and just like Winter Quarter, session is halfway over. Today is the last day for bills to pass out of the fiscal committee in their house of origin. Bills must move out of their house of origin and into the opposite chamber by 5 p.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 19 in order to…

January 31, 2020

News from Olympia: UW Regents meet with legislators

It’s week three and the legislature is quickly approaching policy committee cutoff. Next Friday, Feb. 7, is the last day to pass bills out of policy committee in their house of origin. Here are some highlights from the past two weeks: UW Regents visit Olympia for public higher education’s Regents & Trustees Day On Wednesday,…

January 16, 2020

News from Olympia: Rep. Laurie Jinkins sworn in as Speaker of the House

Washington State’s 2020 legislative session started on Monday, Jan. 13 and took off running. This 60-day (short) session is scheduled to last until March 12 and is focused on the supplemental budget, which applies fixes to the biennial budget passed last legislative session. Some of the big legislative topics will include transportation, homelessness, behavioral health,…

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