CWU students backfill state operating budget

The House, Senate, and governor have agreed upon the latest fix for the budget problems of this fiscal year. On Friday the governor signed a supplemental budget that shifts $125 million from local accounts into the state general fund and cuts about $236 million in spending on the State Need Grant, K-12 class size reductions, health care for low-income people, and programs that support the disabled. There’s still a $220 million-hole in the budget that ends June 30, 2011. Budget writers likely will wait for the March revenue forecast before making final adjustments to the FY 2011 budget.

Gregoire vetoed a 3-percent cut in pay for state employees who are not affiliated with a union. Part of her veto message reads this way:

 …a salary reduction should also recognize actions already taken. Thousands of state employees are already bringing home smaller paychecks as a result of temporary layoffs required by Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6503 enacted last year. Many of these employees will be temporarily laid off for one day each in April and June of this year. Many also will have a layoff day in May. This budget does not distinguish between employees who are subject to temporary layoffs during this time period and those who are not.

The agreed-to budget takes $705,000 of tuition from CWU and puts it into the State Need Grant, from which the legislature took $25 million to backfill the state budget. That means CWU students are paying for someone, somewhere else in the state, to go to the UW or to Gonzaga or to a career college.

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About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office schactler@cwu.edu, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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