A new forecast of future tax collections has added $79 million in anticipated state revenues for the current two-year budget cycle and another $80 million for the one that begins July 1. That’s a small bump for a state budget that is expected to near $42 billion.
That provides a critical piece of information as legislative negotiators work to craft a compromise operating budget to send to the governor. Budgets proposed by the governor, House and Senate all provide $10 million to fund 60 first and second year medical students for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the university’s top legislative priority. The budgets differ on other operating budget priorities relating to STEM degree production, compensation and the State Need Grant.
The Legislature also still needs to write a capital budget. While funding for the design of a new academic building at WSU Tri-Cities and for the predesign of a Life Sciences Building at WSU Vancouver is included in all three budget proposals, they differ on WSU’s top capital budget priorities for funding the construction of the Plant Sciences Building and the start of the Global Animal Health phase II project, both in Pullman.