Budget agreement funds WSU medical school

Legislative leaders released a 2017-19 operating budget agreement today that provides $10 million to fund 60 first year and 60 second year medical students, fulfilling WSU’s top legislative priority.

Budget proposals previously released by the Governor, Senate and House did just the same. The final budget agreement, coming just hours before the onset of the new biennium, now must be approved by both chambers and signed by the governor before going into effect.

Here are the highlights of the operating budget as it pertains to WSU.

The budget:

  • Provides $10 million for 60 first year and 60 second year students at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine just as all three previous budget proposals did.
  • Provides equivalent funding for three compensation adjustments that are roughly close to 1 percent each over the course of the biennium.
  • Authorizes current law tuition increases of 2.2 percent in the first year and 2.0 percent in the second year of the biennium.
  • Provides funding for the State Need Grant to maintain existing statewide participation, then funds a small expansion of the program to cover an additional 875 students. This reduces the rolls of students who are eligible but unserved to near 23,000.
  • Suspends new I-502 marijuana research funding and maintains existing funding levels.
  • Funds Elk Hoof Disease research in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Provides $606,000 to fund a children’s mental health residency program in Spokane, as prescribed by WSU-supported legislation.
  • Reduces appropriation by $1.6 million, assuming a reduction in graduate student tuition waivers, an effective cut.
  • Provides $500,000 in one time funding for new stormwater research at WSU Puyallup.
  • The budget assumes a new central service charge to the state budget office, effectively a small cut.
  • Half of new maintenance and operations funding to support the new academic building opening in August in Everett will come from WSU building fees rather than new state appropriation, affecting WSU’s capital budget.