House schedules budget release … seriously

The Majority Democrats in the state House say that they will release a proposed 2011-2013 operating budget on Monday, April 4. The House Ways & Means chair, Rep. Ross Hunter, will meet with reporters at 12:15 and then the committee will hear the proposal at 3:30. This is the budget with the $5 billion gap. The governor proposed to close the gap, in part, by making drastic cuts in higher ed–a 25 percent reduction just for CWU.

The next day, the House will release a proposed Capital Budget for the upcoming biennium. We’ll hear the details of that plan at 8:00 a.m. in a briefing by the House Capital Committee chair, Hans Dunshee. CWU’s top priority for the capital budget is funding for the design of phase two of the Science Building (phase I was completed in 1998). Our request was $3.5 million; we’re hoping for at least $2 million.

For a while some were suggesting that there would be no capital budget at all. The capital budget is 9 percent of the three year average of the operating budget–and I think by now we’re all aware of the trajectory on which the operating budget has been traveling. Smaller operating budgets = smaller capital budget.

TVW will air the hearings live on TV and on the Internet (www.tvw.org) Your trusty CWU budget analysts will begin crunching numbers as soon as they’re available and put something up here or on campus-wide email soon as possible.

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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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