Return of the Briefing Room

At last the flurry of budgetary and legislative festivities has pressed me back into service. The Chautauqua! The Revenue Forecast! Interim Assembly! Redistricting!  It’s a political nerd’s field day (month).

And what of all of the stuff going on in Ebrg? All those moves. All those new students.  Time for an update there, too.  But first things first.

Do NOT freak out when you hear state budgeteers forecasting another budget deficit on Thursday. One does wonder when the slide will stop. But our trustees have anticipated this. That’s why enrollment targets and our contingency fund are robust. They are two reasons CWU has suffered fewer layoffs than any other institution. We’ve had about 10 in three years–far fewer than other universities. (Which reminds me, I said I would track down the positions eliminated last June and I will. I swear.)

Anyway, the Economic & Revenue Forecast Council meets on Thursday, Sept 15, for an official review of how the state economy has performed over the last quarter. Answer: not that well.

The budget gap is likely to be around $2 billion.

What does that mean for CWU? In the short run, probably not much. If it appears that the shortfall will hit hard and fast, the governor could hold back some of our monthly budget allotment. The governor does NOT have the authority to cut budgets; that takes an act of the legislature and the signature of the governor.

Could a special session be convened? It’s possible, but it’s a huge hassle to assemble that many people when they’ll return in January anyway.

Ok – first post in a month or two. That felt pretty good. Tomorrow the moves and an org chart.

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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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