Governor Signs Operating Budget

On Sunday Governor Inslee signed into law the 2013-15 biennial operating budget with a modest list of vetoes.

Among the items the Governor vetoed were three studies directed to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, an Evergreen public service center.  These include:

  • Extraordinary Foster Care Cost Study based on the reasoning that a study is not necessary at this time.
  • Safety Assessment Tool Study based on the reasoning that a study at this time would be premature when the Department of Social and Health Services has not yet determined whether the assessment tool will continue to be used, modified, or maintained.
  • K-12 Funding Task Force based on the reasoning that another task force is duplicative of proposals from recent work groups.

The legislatively passed operating budget makes the strongest investment in higher education in years. The proposed budget assumes no increases in resident undergraduate tuition rates for the 2013-15 biennium. For 2013-14 the public, four-year institutions are prohibited from using tuition-setting authority to exceed the appropriated tuition level.

The total budget provides $3.1 billion in state funds to support higher education. The budget provides $119.3 million in funding to support the core academic functions of the institutions of higher education. Finally the budget makes an investment in financial aid including the College Bound Scholarship program and the State Need Grant.

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