House Democrats Proposed Supplemental Budget for 2011-13
This morning, the House Democrats released their proposed supplemental budget for the current (2011-13) biennium. It is available here.
Because the revenue projections upon which the original 2011-13 budget was based have proven too optimistic, the legislature must make more cuts. We now have the thinking of the majority party in the House.
The additional 2011-13 cut to Western proposed by the House Democrats is $2M.
This additional $2M cut is very serious. It comes on top of cuts of $38M already made in Western’s 2011-13 state support. And, those cuts are on top of cuts of $30M made in our state support last biennium.
There is a slender silver lining: this session began with a budget proposed by the Governor that would have heaped on an additional and catastrophic cut of $7M for Western.
But the $2M cut proposed by the House Democrats will still be significant and will still leave us with only unpleasant options. These I outlined in an earlier message to you.
In politics, it is about persistent, shoulder-to-shoulder, and aggressive engagement. You all who are Western have been together and engaged like never before: faculty, staff, students, unions, administration, Trustees, parents, alumni, and supporters. We have been joined by private sector leaders, media, and, importantly, increasingly numerous and effective legislative allies.
We must not let up.
We are still a long way from having a final budget. We have yet to see a budget proposal from the State Senate. After that proposal is released, the House, the Senate, and the Governor will all have to come together to create the final compromise budget. These negotiations will take place in the face of mounting pressures from all the affected interests around the state.
We must continue to be aggressively involved. Not for the sake of Western but because Washington’s future remains at risk. Public higher education is the single most significant lever available to our public officials seeking to power toward brighter outcomes, long term, for Washington and its people. Continued disinvestment moves that lever backwards even more, threatening to seriously derail the train.
Continue your involvement in ways you find suitable, of course adhering to the law on the appropriate use of state resources. Western Advocates remains one source for up-to-date budget information and suggestions about ways to be involved.
As always, I remain both proud and grateful to be among colleagues demonstrating, through their action and understanding, their deep commitment to Western and its publicly purposed mission. And, our commitment to each other.