Governor's Proposed Budget
This morning, the Governor proposed, as she is required to, a revised budget for the current biennium, one that addresses a shortfall of about $2B that had not been anticipated when the original 2011-13 budget became law.
That proposal translates, for Western, into an additional cut of $7M for the biennium we are currently in. Coming on top of cuts already made to our budget, a cut that enormous would have potentially dire consequences.
It's really important that we all understand just how dire.
No plans for cuts have been made. No planning has begun. But, the magnitude of such cuts can be imagined. Please check out: Impacts of Cutting Another $7M From Western's Operating Budget.
It is important to understand how seriously the new cuts could damage Western. It is even more important to make sure they do not happen. We must once again fight for Western, for Washington, for the future of both.
The Governor is already fighting for both. In addition to the budget cuts, she also proposed a revenue measure. As we currently understand it, it would make the further cuts to Western unnecessary.
But, such a measure is a long, long way from being a realistic possibility let alone being a done deal. Her revenue proposal would require a vote of the people.
All the more important to get engaged. Engaged in whatever ways you think best.
The page I sent you to in the link above also provides you with ways to get involved that you may wish to consider.
And please remember this: we are a long way from any final result. The Governor has proposed. Now, the ball is in the Legislature's court. Things could get better. They could get worse. They could get a lot worse.
Again, all the more important to get engaged and to stay engaged. It worked last time: final cuts were much less than those initially proposed but only because we were engaged, engaged shoulder to shoulder.
And, yet another critical reason to be engaged: we cannot allow Washington's nationally unprecedented slashing of four-year higher education institutional budgets to again be carried on the backs of our students – directly through further tuition increases or less directly through increased time to degree, unavailability of classes, and limited access to high demand majors.
We will need to hang in there for the long haul, having patience. It is possible that this matter will not be finally worked out until April or May.
Again, do know how much your patience, your devotion, your accomplishments to date are appreciated.