Inslee releases budget proposal to mixed higher ed reviews

This morning Governor Inslee presented a budget plan for the 2013-2015 biennium.  There is good news and not so great.

Good news first. Inslee’s capital proposal mirrors that of Governor Gregoire, a record $97 million that fully funds five of CWU’s top six priorities:

  • Science Phase II ($65.4)
  • Combined Utilities ($8)
  • Nutrition Science ($4)
  • Peterson Hall ($4.9)
  • Brooks Library ($4.9)

 Not so great news on the operating budget side. Inslee’s budget is better for CWU than was the Gregoire budget, which, as you will recall, included no cut but no tuition increase at all.  The Inslee proposal includes no cuts and allows CWU a 3 percent tuition increase.  This iwould leave CWU $1 million short of the funding needed to implement the university’s six-year budget plan in FY 2014 and $5 million short FY 2015.

 Inslee’s budget didn’t come in bill form, although there are numbers in there. Here’s what it seems to include.

  • 0 cuts to higher education
  • 3% tuition increase for comprehensives and 5% for research instutions. But universities could choose to go beyond these rates if they comply with the HB 1795 requirement to mitigate the impact to students.
  • 0 funding for enrollment at baccalaureates; $20 million for enrollment at community colleges, which already receive more money per FTE student ($2900) than comprehensive universities do ($2600)
  • 3% salary cut restored for full carry-forward of $70 million
  • $11 million set aside to be RFP’ed to baccalaureates for “high-demand” STEM programs
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements funded (PSE and WFSE).

 

Next budget out will be the Senate–probably next week. Then the House. Last day of session is April 28 – one month away.

 

 

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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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