‘Best proposal in years’
Floyd: Gregoire budget good start for reinvesting in higher ed
PULLMAN, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget proposal released Tuesday (Dec. 18) maintains higher education funding after years of cuts, adds new funding for high-demand academic programs and funds construction of the Clean Technology Laboratory project on Washington State University’s Pullman campus.
"This is the best budget proposal for WSU in more than four years,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. "Gov. Gregoire has been a strong supporter of higher education and this budget reflects that.”
After years of major reductions to higher education, the Legislature in spring approved a no-cuts budget for state colleges and universities. Gregoire’s proposal begins to turn the corner by again avoiding new reductions even as the state faces another billion-dollar shortfall.
Her proposal also provides WSU with $2 million to sustain and enhance new engineering enrollments. And it creates a competitive $11 million pool for Washington’s six public four-year universities to draw from to fund new enrollments in high demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. The budget also provides $35 million to support College Bound scholarships.
The Gregoire budget goes to the Legislature, which will write its own version to send to the governor’s office this spring.
"This budget is a good start and begins a conversation with the Legislature about reinvesting in higher education,” Floyd said. "Over the past year we’ve witnessed a growing recognition in Olympia that we’ve cut higher education too deeply, weakening opportunities for students and the economy. Now is the time for reinvestment.”
The governor’s proposal for the state capital budget provides state support for construction of the Clean Technology Laboratory in Pullman, which will house interdisciplinary research in sustainable design, advanced materials and air and water quality.
Chris Mulick, WSU Director of State Relations, 253-579-2461, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Strenge, WSU News, 509-335-3583, email@example.com