Following an impressive economic and revenue forecast last week, state budget writers released their supplemental operating budgets for the 2021-23 biennium on Monday. Both the Senate and House proposals provide funding for WSU’s top legislative priority of employee compensation.

Like the governor’s budget, the House budget provides $7.32 million for compensation enhancements and the Senate budget provides $7.67 million.

The Senate’s proposal would provide WSU the requested $4.448 million in annual funding to establish two undergraduate degree programs focused on cybersecurity at the Pullman, Tri-Cities and Everett campuses. These programs, a Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity Operations and an Information Assurance major within the Business Administration degree, would equip students with the tools needed to enhance the state’s cybersecurity workforce. While this was funded in the governor’s proposal, it was not funded in the House proposal.

The Senate and House operating budget proposals both provided the requested $341,000 for WSU to develop a one-year behavioral health residency program in Eastern Washington. The program would see two residents a year providing care to patients in clinical settings. This effort was brought to the Legislature in collaboration with the University of Washington.

Also released today was the House supplemental capital budget, which provided $2 million for WSU to begin to purchase high-density compact shelving units for collections in Holland Library on the Pullman campus. This would allow space to be reclaimed that could be renovated for other uses in the future. The Senate budget also provided $2 million for this, while the governor’s budget provided $8 million.

With all three operating budget proposals and all three capital budget proposals now released, budget writers will begin working on negotiating compromises  to send to the governor for his consideration.