The Governor’s Budget Funds a Number of UW Priorities
Governor Inslee has released his proposed budget for the next biennium. The Governor’s budget is the starting point for each legislative session and tells the Legislature, and his constituents, what he thinks should be prioritized. Find out which UW priorities made it into the budget!
The proposed budget is generally favorable and contains funding for key UW Impact priorities. However, it also does not fund several important pieces of the UW’s legislative agenda. Please see below for some highlights of the governor’s budget and its alignment with UW Impact priorities. A more comprehensive description of budget allocations related to the UW can also be found here: UW OBP Brief.
Quality and Excellence:
- UW Medicine Funding: The governor’s budget allocates a one-time, $100 million dollar expenditure to UW medicine to alleviate significant labor costs and sustain clinical operations as a critical part of the medical safety net for Washington State. It does not, however, provide ongoing funding for UW medicine (request: $40 million annually) that is critical for UW’s sustained role as the medical safety net for Washington State moving forward.
- Staff Compensation: The budget included a 4% increase for faculty and staff in FY24 and 3% in FY25, and increases the fund split to 66%. This is the favorable fund split requested by the UW and would fund a portion of the staff compensation increases necessary at UW. When we advocate, we’ll recommend that the Legislature takes the approach in the Governor’s proposed budget.
Access and Affordability:
- Student Support Services: The budget did not fund increased student support services across all three UW campuses (request: $4 million). This was a priority for both students and alumni.
- Financial Aid: The budget included $200 million in financial aid provisions for the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) to support ongoing programs including $150 million for the Washington Student Loan program, a low interest loan program established by HB 1736 (A 2021 UW Impact priority).
High Demand Skills and Degrees:
- Tri Campus High Demand Enrollments: The budget partially funded this request, allocating $3.7 million in FY24 and 6.9 million in FY 25 to increase computer science and engineering slots on all three campuses. It did not fund increased enrollments in the Information School on the Seattle campus.
Additional Priorities and Capital Budget Requests:
- Building Modernization/Improvement: The budget provided funding, $121.2 million, for the requested renovations/improvements to multiple health and science facilities, and phase 2 of construction for the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ / Intellectual House.
- Tacoma Land Acquisition: The proposed budget did not allocate funds for UW-T to purchase additional land for future campus expansion (request: $7.7 million).
- RIDE Program: The budget provided $2 million in ongoing funding to expand the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education program at the Spokane Riverpoint campus.
The state budget will be developed and ratified in the State Legislature over the course of the legislative session. While it is encouraging to see that many UW priorities are supported by the Governor, it takes the advocacy of Husky supporters like you to educate lawmakers on the value and benefits of all UW’s requests. Looking forward to doing this work along with you in January.
UW Impact Team