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WSU Health Sciences Spokane Extra

WSU Medical School Bills Pass First Test in Olympia

Washington State Capitol

Washington State Capitol

House Bill 1559 and Senate Bill 5487 – both of which would allow WSU to operate a medical school at WSU Spokane – both passed their respective committees today.

Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) sponsored the bill in the House, while Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

There is still a lot of road ahead, and the process is ongoing, but today’s actions were positive steps for our university.

To learn more about WSU’s pursuit of a medical school, visit medicine.wsu.edu.

Washington Senate Higher Education Committee Hears Medical School Bill

WSU Spokane Medical School

WSU Spokane Medical School

The Senate Higher Education Committee held a hearing today to discuss Senate Bill 5487, which would allow WSU to operate a medical school on our campus.

UPDATE: Video from the hearing can be viewed here.

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WSU Spokane is a Remote Testimony Pilot Project Site

Washington State Remote Testimony

Washington State Remote Testimony

Jodie is a Spokane Valley resident and a victim of a break-in (which is why we’re going without her last name in this space). When testifying on Senate Bill 5503, which would increase sanctions for habitual property offenders, she did so not in Olympia but from our campus via a video feed.

The Senate Remote Testimony Pilot Project is looking at whether remote testimony works and is an efficient way to work through the democratic process. Our campus is one site that the State is using to try out remote testimony.

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Senate Medical School Bill Scheduled for Hearing

Senate Bill 5487 has been scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Commitee on Higher Education on Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

The bill, introduced by Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) and a companion to House Bill 1559 (which we wrote about here), would allow WSU to operate a medical school, among other things.

The hearing can be seen on TVW and online at TVW.org.

We’ve talked about the need for a WSU medical school in a number of places. Allow two local physicians – a father-son duo – to share why they think WSU needs a medical school:

Fresh Plate Cafe and Roast House Coffee Open on Campus

Fresh Plate Cafe WSU Spokane

Fresh Plate Cafe WSU Spokane

Dining on a college campus is essential for students. It’s convenient and gives them a nice break from their classes.

A recent remodel in the Academic Center on the WSU Spokane campus resulted in the Bistro Box-operated Fresh Plate Cafe opening at the beginning of the spring semester. Roast House Coffee provides coffee for students, staff and faculty as well.

We celebrated the two with a ribbon cutting celebration today, with students, staff and faculty attending.

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Washington State House Higher Education Committee Hears Medical School Bill

Elson Floyd

Elson Floyd

The Washington State House Higher Education Committee held a hearing today to learn about House Bill 1559, which would – among other things – allow WSU to operate a medical school. WSU President Elson Floyd was among those testifying in support of the bill.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), calls for a policy change and has no funding attached to it. A companion bill in the Senate – introduced by Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane), mirrors the House bill.

In addition to this policy change, WSU is seeking $2.5 million in startup operating funds to begin the process of accreditation for a medical school in Spokane.

Fast forward to the 1:05:35 mark in this video to watch the hearing.

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Medical School Bill Gets a Hearing

WSU medical school

WSU medical school

House Bill 1559 would change a 1917 law and allow WSU to offer a medical school in Spokane. There is a companion bill in the Senate.

The House bill, which has 65 co-sponsors so far, is set to get a hearing Tuesday morning bright and early at 8:00 a.m. in the House Higher Education Committee. You can watch it online at TVW.org.

For a refresher on how these bills become a law, allow Schoolhouse Rock to explain (this video focuses on the federal government, but the process at the state level still applies):

The hearing is a chance for committee members to get any questions answered before acting on the bill. These bills are just one step in our pursuit of a medical school in Spokane. The 1917 law needs to be changed, and we are also asking the legislature to provide $2.5 million in startup funds for the next two years. With that funding, we will be able to hire a Founding Dean, begin to recruit faculty and develop curriculum.

So why is this important?

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