Government Relations


Med school bill heard in House

WSU testified before the House Appropriations Committee last night in a final push to move its medical school bill HB 1559 through the committee before this Friday’s deadline. This comes a day after HB 1559′s companion bill SB 5487 was given a do-pass recommendation on a 21-0 vote and referred to Rules during Tuesday’s night’s Senate Ways & Means committee.

Video of WSU’s testimony can be viewed below.

Medical School bill voted out of Ways & Means

The Senate Ways and Means Committee this evening voted to give Senate Bill 5487 a do pass recommendation, sending it to the Rules Committee to await a vote of the full Senate. The measure would authorize WSU to pursue an independently accredited medical school.

A similar bill will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow afternoon. Friday marks the deadline for bills still harbored in budget committees to be voted out.

First cutoff reached, revenue forecast up

Today marked the first in a series of legislative deadlines that regulates the flow of bills during the course of session. All policy bills had to be moved out of their policy committee in order to stay alive.

Among the advancing bills that WSU is tracking are bills in the House and Senate authorizing WSU to pursue a state license allowing minors in enology and viticulture programs to taste but not consume wine as part of their instruction, as is already allowed at community colleges.

Next Friday marks the deadline for bills in budget committees to be voted out. Legislation to authorize WSU to pursue a medical school now resides in both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Senate Bill 5487 was heard in the Senate on Wednesday.

Also Friday, the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released a new forecast indicating that revenues for the current 2013-15 budget cycle are $107 million more than previously projected and the forecast for the coming 2015-17 budget cycle are $129 million more than previously projected, small changes in what will be a $37 billion two year budget. The Legislature will use this forecast to write the budget it will send to the governor this spring.

The entire list of bills passed out of the first cutoff session can be viewed here.

Medical school bill heard in Ways & Means

WSU President Elson Floyd visited the capitol this week to testify before the Senate Ways & Means committee on SB 5487, a piece of legislation that would amend a nearly 100-year old statute and give WSU the clearance to establish a medical school.

Video of President Floyd’s testimony can be viewed below.

150 Cougs descend on Olympia

It was a zoo today in Olympia as about 150 WSU students from across the state descended on the state Capitol to talk with legislators and press their legislative agenda.

The Associated Students of Washington State University stages its Coug Day event every year to help drum up support for higher education and articulate student priorities. Activities included a dinner Sunday night and a legislative briefing this morning with WSU government relations staff.

Students reported having scheduled more than 100 meetings with legislators for the day. photo-4

Medical school bills advance

Identical bills authorizing WSU to establish a medical school were passed out of the higher education committees in the state House and Senate today.

House Bill 1559 was given a do pass recommendation on a 12-1 vote and Senate Bill 5487 was given a do pass recommendation on a 6-1 vote.

Both bills still have a ways to go, needing votes of the full House and Senate.

Below, WSU Regent Don Barbieri talks about the medical school proposal during his confirmation hearing that also was held today.

Design plans approved for WSU center in Everett

everettbldgThe board of regents approved designs last week for WSU’s top capital budget priority, the development of a University Center in North Puget Sound.

The Herald Business Journal featured an article on the construction plans and deadlines for the project, also including WSU’s recent developments in Everett. You can read the article here.

Medical school bill heard in House

Legislation that would allow WSU to establish an independently accredited school of medicine was heard in the House Higher Education Committee this morning.

Presenting for WSU were President Elson Floyd and Ken Roberts, acting dean of the WSU College of Medical Science. You can watch the hearing below.

President Floyd outlines medical school plan

Washington State University President Elson Floyd presented the university’s vision for a community based school of medicine to the Senate Higher Education Committee this afternoon.

Bills to authorize WSU to pursue medicine as an academic discipline were introduced in the Legislature this week. Joining Dr. Floyd today was Ken Roberts, acting dean of WSU’s College of Medical Sciences. You can view the presentation below.

WSU medical school bills introduced

legislativesupportmap2Rep. Marcus Riccelli and Sen. Michael Baumgartner introduced legislation today that authorizes the university to pursue the establishment of a medical school headquartered in Spokane.

President Floyd expressed his gratitude towards Sen. Baumgartner and Rep. Riccelli for their work in preparing House Bill 1559 and Senate Bill 5487. Both bills would change a 1917 statute that currently limits the delivery of medical education to the University of Washington.

You can check out the Spokesman-Review’s coverage here and an Associated Press report here.

Colleen Kerr, Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations. 901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2900, Seattle, Washington 98164. 509-335-5756. Contact Us.