Leaders in the state Senate on Monday unveiled proposed supplemental operating and capital budgets that funded WSU’s top legislative priority.
The Senate’s proposed operating budget would provide $750,000 to WSU, $500,000 of which would be ongoing funding annually, to provide a match for grant funding WSU will receive as part of its recent designation by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuel and the Environment. The money would be routed through the state’s Office of Financial Management.
The funding would only be available to WSU once the Office of the State Auditor executes a contract with a private firm to conduct a 10-year audit of various funds at Washington’s six public baccalaureate institutions. The institutions ultimately would pay for those audits.
Securing the matching funds is the university’s top legislative priority because of the federal and private research funds they would leverage. WSU, along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will lead the center and 14 other universities across the United States will collaborate in the center’s research. More than 50 public and private stakeholder partners, ranging from aircraft manufacturers to national laboratories, will help identify the industry needs that will shape the center’s research priorities.
Two additional priority requests sought by WSU did not make it into the Senate budgets. WSU is seeking $1 million in the operating budget to add academic programs in software engineering and agriculture and food security at the University Center of North Puget Sound. The university also is seeking $5.3 million in the capital budget to design a new facility for the Washington Animal Disease & Diagnostic Laboratory.
You can find the Senate capital budget here. It reduced WSU’s capital budget by $5.8 million by reducing state bonding authority for university projects and backfilling it with university local funds.
Testimony on both budget proposals will be taken at a meeting of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Tuesday afternoon and evening.
The House of Representatives is expected to release its budget proposals in the coming days.