Leaders in the state House of Representatives yesterday afternoon released their proposed operating and capital budget proposals and it’s expected the Senate will soon follow with theirs.

The operating budget proposal, which would close a budget shortfall of more than $5 billion mostly through major spending cuts, would cut WSU’s state appropriation by about $109 million, or 26.6 percent. By comparison, the governor’s budget proposal cut the appropriation by $98 million, or 23.8 percent, though that was crafted in December before the most recent revenue forecast eliminated another $780 million in funding over the course of the remaining months of the current two-year budget cycle and the new one that starts July 1.

The budget proposal assumes tuition increases of 13 percent for resident undergraduates.

Though budget writers assumed the Legislature would continue to set tuition limits, WSU and other universities are still pursuing legislation that would grant them tuition setting authority.

The House Capital budget proposal most notably would provide $35 million toward WSU’s $70.8 million request for its proposed Biomedical and Health Sciences Building at the Riverpoint campus in Spokane. It’s the university’s top capital budget priority.

The proposal partially funded WSU’s $5.8 million request for design money to support the proposed Clean Technology Laboratory on the Pullman campus by providing $2.5 million.  It also provided $27.5 million for minor works preservation but nothing for the minor works program, a key priority that helps make small but high value building improvements and equipment purchases.

The Stadium Way pedestrian bridge at Nevada Street would be replaced under the plan at a cost of $2.5 million.  It also includes $250,000 for predesign of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on the Pullman campus and $1 million of an $18 million request for renovation of what some day will be the Design Disciplines facility.