What the Senate budget means for WSU

Leaders in the state Senate unveiled an operating budget proposal Tuesday that would increase funding for STEM enrollments, but only partially fund WSU’s request to support the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

At a high level, the proposal would do the following.

  • Provide $5 million to support the medical school. WSU has requested $10.8 million for the 2017-19 biennium to support 60 first year and 60 second year students.
  • Provide $7.2 million for new enrollments, with 70 percent of them required to be in STEM disciplines. WSU had requested $5 million to support new engineering enrollments in Vancouver and Everett.
  • Provide compensation increases for state employees at $500 per year for each year of the biennium.
  • Fund legislation establishing a research program to study Elk Hoof Disease and legislation enhancing mental health services for students who are veterans.
  • Suspend marijuana research funding directed by Initiative 502.
  • Enact a $3.2 million cut assuming a 1 percent reduction in tuition waivers.

Other finer details are still being studied. The budget is being heard at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The House is expected to release its operating budget proposal soon. Negotiators will ultimately reach a compromise to send to the governor.

For questions, please email Chris Mulick at chris.mulick@wsu.edu.