Legislature Poised to Take Early Action to Achieve Limited Cuts
At 3:30 PM today, the Senate Ways & Means Committee will hear an early action bill addressing 25% of the current $2 billion deficit in the form of $323 million in budget cuts and $106 million in fund transfers. Both chambers are expected to move legislation forward quickly in order to sine die at the end of this week.
This bill would cut $248,000 from the UW’s general fund base to address expected workers compensation rate increases that are charged to all state agencies, based on staffing levels. Otherwise, the bill affects the University and all of higher education very little.
Agencies most affected by the reductions in this bill are Human Services, DSHS, and K12. Human Services reductions (-$127 million) include expenditure savings and reclaiming state appropriations made unnecessary due to unanticipated, higher federal funding. Budget cuts to K12 (-$75 million) include central administrative reductions, school bus depreciation payment shifts, and enrollment funding adjustments. DSHS budget cuts (-$56 million) include delaying payments for programs, capturing savings generated by lower than anticipated costs, and reducing administrative costs.
Regular session begins on January 10, 2012 and reducing expenditures in the current biennium to address the deficit will be the primary focus of session.