Funding for carbon allowances, broadband program included in budget proposal

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Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2024 supplemental operating budget proposal released Wednesday would provide $6 million to help WSU compete in carbon allowance auctions.

WSU requested $19 million to meet obligations under the state’s new cap and invest decarbonization law, known as the Climate Commitment Act. Carbon allowances need to be acquired from state-run auctions to meet obligations until deadlines for carbon reduction milestones begin kicking in. The WSU Pullman campus is a so-called “covered entity” under the act.

The governor’s proposal also provided $863,000 in tuition backfill funds to align with tuition reduction legislation approved in 2015. Also provided was $190,000 for the WSU Broadband and Digital Equity program to maintain staffing levels.  

The university had requested $2.06 million to add a supply chain management major at WSU Vancouver and WSU Everett. New academic programming in recent years has been funded out of the Washington Education Investment Account. Increasing usage of the Washington College Grant for low-income students is driving down available funds in that account. The governor’s budget proposal spends $36 million in new funds for the program.

The governor’s budget proposal is the first of three proposals that will set the stage for final budget negotiations in late February and early March. The Washington State House and Senate convenes on Jan. 8 to begin 2024’s 60-day legislative session.

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