Government Relations


Senate sends WSU medical school bill to governor

The state Senate this morning approved the WSU medical school bill 47-1, sending it to the governor.

HB 1559 would authorize Washington State University to pursue medicine as an academic discipline. The bill has seen strong bi-partisan support this year given its potential to address the issues surrounding health care shortages in Washington. The bill passed through the House earlier this month with a vote of 81-17. An identical bill previously passed the Senate 45-4.

Video of the floor debate can be viewed below.

Bill would boost training for health sciences students

WSU gave testimony yesterday in support of HB 1369, a bill that would provide health sciences students more opportunities to train in team based settings like they would in professional practice.

Students currently provide basic services such as checking vital signs, conducting cholesterol screenings and providing immunizations at health fairs or in other volunteer activities. But current law requires they be supervised by a faculty member or preceptor from their respective profession, even though such basic activities fall within the scope of practice of various health sciences professions.

The bill would allow students from multiple disciplines train together under the guidance of a supervisor from any health sciences profession so long as the activities fall within that professional’s scope of practice. WSU believes this will provide students with more opportunities to train together.

Video of WSU’s testimony can be viewed below.

SBDC Visits DC

Kilmer_APDuane Fladland, State Director of the Washington Small Business Development Center, along with Andrew DePaula a Washington State constituent, who is also the CEO and Founder of IntelliPaper visited the Hill this week. Highlighting his tech-savvy concept, DePaula was well received on the Hill.

Presenting at the SBDC 35th Anniversary reception, DePaula had a moment to showcase his invention to Congressman Derek Kilmer(D-WA-6)

See a fantastic highlight of this week’s meetings here.

WSU( and Ice Cream) Visit DC

Last week, was a busy week for the WSU Office of Federal Relations.  WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown and Acting Dean of the Medical Sciences, Ken Roberts traveled to DC to share updates with the Congressional delegation on the WSU Spokane Medical Science Campus. In addition, Dr.  Jim Moyer, the Director of the WSU Agriculture Research Center, and Deborah Moore, WSU’s CARET Representative were in DC to  advocate for agriculture research at land grant institutions.


While on a panel at the Inventing America Conference at the Newseum, WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown spoke to the importance of the University’s commercialization efforts and pending federal patent legislation.  Chancellor Brown was joined on the panel by Former Congressman Jim Greenwood, CEO of BIO; Jeff Pott, General Counsel of AstraZeneca and Eb Bright, Executive Vice

President & General Counsel of Exploramed.  More than 100 policy makers and thought leaders were there for the event where Chancellor Brown discussed the patent industry, jobs, the global economy and the important role of universities in this process.

WSU’s Ferdinand’s Creamery was highlighted at the annual APLU Council
IMG_1582on Government Affairs reception, where Members of Congress including WSU Alumni Congressman Dan Newhouse (R, WA-04), Congressman Rick Larsen, and Congressman Derek Kilmer sampled the much coveted Cougar Gold and award winning Apple Cup Crisp Ice Cream.This was a first for Ferdinand’s as the ice cream traveled across the country and to Capitol Hill for the event.  We are grateful to our colleagues at the University of Delaware for making this happen and are already looking forward to doing this again next year!

To add to the excitement of the week, The Science Coalition on behalf of Washington State University hosted a Headliner Breakfast, where Congresswoman Suzan Delbene (D,WA-01) spoke to the importance of funding higher education federal research efforts.

147In attendance where representatives of universities from across the United States, including Notre Dame University, The Ohio State University, Princeton University, Texas A&M University, the University of California, the University of Michigan, Harvard, the University of Washington as well as many others.

WSU medical school bill approved by Senate

The state Senate approved the WSU medical school bill this morning, just 12 hours after the House of Representatives approved its own version.

Senate Bill 5487 was approved 45-4. House Bill 1559 was approved last night 81-17. The bills are identical and one of them must be approved by the opposite chamber to be sent to the governor’s office.

Both bills seek to amend a nearly 100-year-old statute to allow WSU to pursue medicine as an academic discipline.

Video of this morning’s floor debate can be viewed below.

ASWSU: Student Government Leaders in DC


Last week, ASWSU President Jared Powell and Jansen VanderMeulen were on Capitol Hill to discuss the great work students at Washington State University are doing to combat the serious issue of sexual assault and violence on college campuses.  Powell and VanderMeulen invited members of the Washington delegation to join them this spring for an It’s on Cougs event to showcase WSU’s efforts to implement the It’s on Us campaign.  Additionally, Powell (a senior) and VanderMeulen (a junior) discussed the importance of strong Title IX protections as Congress considers reauthorizing the Higher Education ActJHB_ ASWSUThe students also urged the members to continue supporting federal student aid, specifically year-round Pell Grants, which would be helpful to all students, but in particular, non-traditional students who may also be working or raising families.




Penned by Katie Cordingley, Lewis Burke

House passes WSU medical school bill 81-17

The House of Representatives approved the WSU medical bill tonight, sending it to the Senate. HB 1559 passed through the House with a vote of 81-17.

HB 1559′s companion bill, SB 5487, was pushed through the Rules Committee on Friday and is awaiting a floor vote. The measures would change a 1917 statute and allow WSU to pursue medicine as an academic discipline.

The last day to consider any bills still in their house of origin is this Wednesday at 5:00pm

Video of the House’s vote on HB 1559 can be viewed below.

Senate passes enology, viticulture bill

A bill that would allow enology and viticulture students under 21 to taste but not consume wine was passed during last night’s Senate floor debate. SB 5001 passed with a vote of 45-3.

HB 1004, companion bill to SB 5001, passed through the house earlier this week. Both bills seek to include state and regional universities to legislation passed in 2013, which currently limits special tasting permits to community and technical colleges.

You can view the Senate floor debate and vote on SB 5001 below:

‘Public universities, crucial for the greater good’

Washington State University’s vice president for development John Gardner wrote a guest article in the Seattle Times this week on public universities and the role they play in establishing a better, healthier community.

As chief executive of the Washington State University Foundation, Gardner also discusses in his article the speculation surrounding the privatization of public higher education, and the impact private and public funding sources have as a whole for providing accessible, affordable, and quality education.

You can read the full article here.

Campus sexual violence prevention legislation passes through the Senate

Legislators in Washington passed two pieces of legislation last night that would address a plan of action for preventing sexual violence on college campuses in Washington.

SB 5719 and SB 5518 both passed with a vote of 48-0.

SB 5518 would create procedures for preventing campus sexual violence, while SB 5719 would establish a task force to coordinate and implement these policies to meet certain goals.

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