Legislature passes budget with no cuts to higher education

The Washington state Legislature passed the state budget yesterday with no cuts to higher education.

The $31.1 billion budget-deal passed the Senate with a 44-2 vote and moved through the House on a 64-34 vote. By eliminating tax deductions for large banks and increasing taxes, the Legislature preserved funding for education for the next biennium.

Despite this, there isn’t a solid answer to what will happen to the UW’s tuition rates for next year, as those changes are up to the UW governing board, the Board of Regents.

“The conversation is now with the regents and not with the legislators,” Paul Jenny, UW’s vice provost of planning and budgeting, said.

Andrew Lewis, ASUW director of the Office of Government Relations, said what came out of the Legislature was beyond expectation.

“We’re coming out with no cuts, reversing a four-year trend of cuts,” Lewis said. “I look forward to talking to the administration on campus about what this looks like in terms of tuition rates and hopefully we can see a very small increase in tuition since there was no cut in the operating budget.”

The Board of Regents will hold a public information forum regarding the new budget May 3, one month before the UW budget decisions are made June 7.

“This is a really good place to be,” Lewis said. “I want to thank everyone who has been helping us down in Olympia.”

Reach reporter Joon Yi at news@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @JoX2nYi

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