The Supplemental Budget proposal for 2016 includes aspects that affect Western’s budget and where we stand in terms of government funding. The proposal was released on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 by Washington state’s Governor Jay Inslee.
Gov. Inslee’s budget proposal included an allocated $422,000 to pay for the damage caused by a chemical fire in Morse Hall this past summer. No one was injured in the fire, which occurred in August, but there was an estimated $1.6 million to $1.9 million in damages, according to Western Today.
Also included in the proposal was a budget to help pay for Western’s settlement in the lawsuit of Moore vs. The Health Care Authority. The case was brought up by employees of the state of Washington, who were eligible for health insurance by the employers, but did not receive any health insurance. According to Western Today, Western’s estimated cost in the settlement equals about $988,000, however the settlement details have not been finalized.
Not included in the budget proposal were three proposals submitted by Western. These include the Student Success and Achievement Initiative and the Network/Wireless Renewal. Western also put forward a proposal for Emergency Response Improvement, which was not included. However, it is a proposal that the university plans to continue pursuing.
The last major proposal from Western to receive state funding was the proposal for renovations to the Sam Carver Gymnasium.
Western junior Frederick Perkins, said he thinks it was a project that needed funding.
“I think we needed to spend money on the Carver Gym,” Perkins said. “It’s one of our oldest buildings and it hasn’t been remodeled in a while.”
When asked what the university should be spending its money on, Western Senior Anna Eifert said, “Since we are first and foremost in education, we should always be focusing our money on better teachers, smaller classrooms, better curriculum and the arts.”
The budget proposal will go to the house and the senate before becoming final. The final budget will be decided and released in March of this year.