Supplemental budgets for 2012 proposed by the Democrats and Republicans in the Washington State House could change the outlook for higher education funding.
In a "Perspectives" blog post, WSU President Elson S. Floyd called the most recent proposal, released Tuesday, “a small step in a more positive direction."
When the governor’s proposed supplemental budget came out in November, more than $160 million in cuts to higher education were on the table. However, Gov. Chris Gregoire indicated in the proposal that she would like to prevent that magnitude of cuts.
With an update to the revenue forecast last week, legislators have worked to develop a new budget for 2012 that reduces cuts to higher education, Darin Watkins, executive director of external communication for the WSU News Service, told The Daily Evergreen on Tuesday.
In Wednesday’s Daily Evergreen article “House proposes $9 mil cut to WSU,” the latest proposal by the Washington State House of Representatives would cut $9.34 million at WSU represented the House democrats’ supplemental budget proposal for this year.
The proposal cuts significantly less funding from WSU’s budget than Gregoire’s proposal, which suggested a $26 million reduction. The Democrats also propose a reduction to the State Need Grant program.
The Washington State House Republicans introduced their supplemental budget proposal for 2012 on Feb. 17.
The Republicans’ specific proposal for higher education, does not call for a tuition increase, though the biennial budget previously passed by the Legislature assumes a 16 percent tuition increase.
The Republicans’ supplemental budget would also maintain current eligibility requirements for the State Need Grant, although it does call for changes to the program overall. These changes include limiting the number of years students can claim the grant to two or four and requiring that the FAFSA be filed by the March 15 deadline.