Trustees discuss key budget items Thurs.

This is a big week for CWU. On Thursday the board of trustees has a special work session on the budget–tuition options, salary and pension options, and all of the other pieces we need to complete the budget puzzle.

You can read the budget recommendations from administration to the board for yourself. But here’s the short version, and it’s pretty encouraging after a tough couple of years of attrition of employees, the cursed cyclic leave, and layoffs.

The recommendation is:

  • restore people on cyclic leave to their previous contracts (12 months for many staff)
  • hold employees harmless from the 3% salary cut
  • absorb the reduction in pension funding.
The recommendations for tuition mirror what the legislature has already assumed: a 14% increase next fall and the fall after. That was the first sum budget writers subtracted from CWU’s bottom line, for a hit of more than $20 million.  
The legislature finished business May 25 but session isn’t really over. Remember the magic formula for a winning bill is 50 + 25 + 1: A majority of votes in the House, a majority in the Senate and the vote of the governor.  
The gov has 30 days from the end of special session to act on bills. She can veto an entire bill, veto a section of a bill, or ignore a bill – in which case it becomes law without her signature.  On Monday, the governor vetoed part of HB 1795.  As you will recall from the fascinating post of May 12, this measure sets tuition policy for the next decade, increases university responsibilities for financial aid, dramatically increases the number of reporting requirements, and–good news–make Bruce Porter’s life easier by reducing some red tape for contracting, travel etc.
Sorry Bruce, but the governor vetoed your favorite section of HB 1795. The primary reason?
Due to the length of the regular legislative session and special session, [these sections]  have no operative effect because the restrictions expire before the law takes effect.

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, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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