Legislators, governor agree special session likely

With one week in the legislative session left, key lawmakers and the governor agree that theyll probably need a special session to finish negotiations on the operating, capital, and transportation budgets, and to pass all of the bills needed to implement the budgets.

By law, a special cannot last longer than 30 daysbut the session cant be limited to a few days. Once youre in, youre in! When the session ends at midnight on April 24, the governor may decide to send legislators home and keep only budget negotiators in town. When negotiators have reached agreement, the legislature could convene and finish business quicklyor so its hoped.

Following is a summary of the 3% wage cut proposed in each of the three budget proposals. Each budget assumes a cut of about $3.56 million, equivalent to a reduction in CWU’s wage base of 3%. The Senate budget includes an additional $1 million in cyclic leave for people who make more than $50,000 per year.

Exactly how the university implements the wage cut will be determined by several things:

  • legal obligations of employee contracts
  • interpretations of the Dept. of Personnel
  • university policy
  • language included in the final budget

Following is a comparison of the language in each of the three operating budget proposals so far.

PROPOSED OPERATING BUDGETS

Read the budgets for yourself. Find them on the Web page of the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program (LEAP) Committee http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/default.asp.

Governor House Senate
Temporary Yes Yes Yes
Exempted Employees earning less than $2500/mo

Student employees

Faculty

Employees earning less than $2500/mo

Student employees

Employees earning less than $2500/mo

Faculty

Implementation 5.2 hours of temporary salary reduction leave (cyclic leave) Institutions decide how to absorb the 3% reduction in salaries. Institutions may use cyclic leave and other measures to implement the reduction
Additional compensation reductions? No No Additional $1 million in cyclic leave

1. 16 hours for people who make $50,000 /year but less than $75,000/year

2. 32 hours for people who make at least $75,000/year but less than $100,000

3. 48 hours for people who make at least $100,000/year but less than $125,000

4. 64 hours for people who make $125,000/year or more

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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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