Special session update: Senate Republicans propose a “compromise” supplemental solution.

The Senate Republicans, with the support of three Democrats, yesterday released a revised supplemental budget proposal which they say includes no cuts to education. The bottom line for CWU, remarkably, is that total appropriations go up —from $64.07 million to $65.11 million.

Total policy changes for CWU are -$666,000. But the budget adds $1.4 million to our maintenance level budget for 2011-13. This appears to be the budget correction we requested.  Although this is budget dust considered in the context of a total $66-million cut over the last three years, it is, finally, good news.

Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt said the Senate will vote on this budget sometime next week, with or without the procedural support of the Senate Democrats. The “majority” Democrats were not amused by the proposal of their colleagues. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, released a joint statement that read, in part:

“We are disappointed Republicans still insist on eliminating food assistance and Disability Lifeline, and cutting services to families and children. The budget they rolled out today – which was again drafted in secret, not the negotiating table – also fails to fund the bipartisan jobs package that could help more than 20,000 Washington’s get to work.”

What else is in the budget?

  • Aerospace:  The UW and WSU must dedicated $3.8 million from existing funds toward producing more engineering degrees.
  • Community college baccalaureate degrees:  The Senate adopts the House language that allows Bellevue College and the Seattle community college district to offer baccalaureate degree programs in several specific programs. (Or BAS degrees

 

  • Joint Legislative Task Force on the Higher Education Funding Formula: A task force composed of legislators will consider the following and present conclusions to the legislature by January 14, 2013.

1. Review the basis for the state funding of institutions of higher education

2. Prepare and approve a recommended state operating budget methodology that establishes:

  • A baseline level of funding per student which offers greater stability, efficacy, transparency, and accountability for institutions of higher education that receive public funds; and
  • The minimum outcomes expected in the institutions of higher education from performance-based measures and goals that will be associated with the baseline level of funding per student.

3. Establish a funding methodology that considers the costs associated with different programs of study as well as the unique missions of each public institution of higher education.

What’s NOT in the Budget?

 

Today’s budget proposal includes no provisos for CWU which House Democrats included in their budget plan last week:

  • perform a tuition waiver study and report on December 1, 2012;
  • spend $1,125,000 on STEM enrollments from existing funds; and
  • not spend any state general fund on athletics.

Supplemental Budget Proposals

March 15, 2012

PROPOSED REDUCTION GOVERNOR HOUSE D SENATE R
General reduction $5.35 mil $666,000 $666,000
Increased service required $0 STEM degrees

( $1.125 million )$0Athletics$0Prohibits use of state funds to support intercollegiate athletics programs.$0Net Change– $5.35- $666,000 (with redirection of $1.125M)+$1.4 millionInsurance funding cut $25 / FTE$50 / FTE$50/FTEState Need Grant $0$0$0State Work Study$8.1 million$0

$0

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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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