Gov. Jay Inslee today signed a supplemental capital budget that advanced a key project for WSU Vancouver but approved a series of vetoes in the operating budget that signaled the demise of a requested soil health research initiative.

The WSU Vancouver Life Sciences Building will be funded for design under the capital budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. WSU had requested $4 million to design the project. If funded for construction, the facility will provide sorely needed capacity to support students seeking STEM degrees and space for research.

The governor vetoed $235 million in new spending in the operating budget in an attempt to reduce state obligations as the COVID-19 crisis significantly curbs economic activity and state tax collections. Some 147 different items were vetoed, including WSU’s request to fund the Soil Health Initiative, a collaboration with the state Department of Agriculture and Conservation Commission to develop and disseminate new strategies to improve soil health.

It is expected the Legislature will be convened for a special session to help address the financial crisis. The next forecast of state revenues is June 17.