Capital Budget Proposals Released

Following the release of their state operating budget proposals, the State Senate and House of Representatives recently released their proposed 2017-19 biennial capital budgets. Outlined below is how each of the proposals address Western’s capital priorities (please see 2017-19 Capital Budget Comparison with Governor, Senate and House)  and impact the university.

The Senate capital proposal released on March 28 includes approximately $17.6 million in state bond funding and $9.5 million in local funds to address Western’s most urgent capital needs. Of this amount, $6.2 million is apportioned for minor works projects throughout campus, $6.7 million is assigned for classroom and lab upgrades, $1.5 million for security upgrades, $3.6 million for maintenance and repairs, and $3.2 million for elevator preservation and disability upgrades. The Senate’s capital proposal also includes $6 million in partial design funding to address space constraints in Western’s science disciplines. 

On April 5, the House released their capital budget proposal, which issues approximately $9.4 million in state funds and $11.6 million in local funds for Western’s campus. The House proposal includes $7.5 million for crucial minor works projects, and matches the Senate’s proposed amount for classroom and lab upgrades, maintenance and repairs, and elevator preservation and disability upgrades to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, all projects that are critically important to Western’s ability to best serve its students. However, unlike the Senate capital budget, the House proposal does not include design funding to address science instructional space on Western’s campus.

The House and Senate capital proposals follow Governor Inslee’s budget proposals released in December, and are a step in the process of developing a final state biennial budget. The Governor, House, and Senate’s capital budgets, as proposed, fail to meet the ever-increasing capital needs of the Western campus. Western will continue to advocate for our priorities to ensure funding that secures the continuing excellence of our university. We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more in the coming months.