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We did it: WSU medical school funding approved

WSU Spokane campus

WSU Spokane campus

Just in time before the end of the state’s fiscal year, the Washington Legislature approved a state operating budget that includes funding to start a WSU medical school in Spokane.

We asked for and received $2.5 million in funding to start our community-based medical school, headquartered on our health sciences campus here in Spokane.

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WSU Spokane Magazine: Cougs Celebrate Medical School Approval

WSU Medical School Bill Signing

WSU Medical School Bill Signing

(Ed. Note: The latest edition of the WSU Spokane Magazine is available as a PDF here. It is also distributed statewide to WSU alumni and friends. We will share a story each day from the latest issue on the blog. Enjoy!)

By Doug Nadvornick

Bill signing ceremonies conducted by governors are often joyous occasions that formalize legislative achievements. But rarely do they lead to spontaneous pep rallies, as happened on April 1.

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Medical School Bill Gets Another Hearing

WSU Medical School

WSU Medical School

The House Appropriations Committee last night heard testimony on House Bill 1559, which would allow WSU to operate a medical school.

Like many previous hearings, the discussion revolved around funding – this was the House budget committee, after all – and the ongoing talks between WSU and UW to figure out how the ending of the WWAMI partnership will work our financially.

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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 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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WSU Medical School Gaining Big Support in Olympia

Washington State Capitol

Washington State Capitol

Washington State University’s pursuit of a medical school took a big step forward today when two bills – one in the Senate and one in the House – were introduced today and would allow WSU to operate a public medical school. A law that dates back to 1917 currently mandates that only the University of Washington can operate a public medical school in Washington.

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

WSU President Elson Floyd weighed in today in his President’s Perspectives column.

KXLY has a cool photo of the two dropping their bills in the Hopper, along with a story on the two bills. The Spokesman-Review has coverage as well.

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Michael Baumgartner and Marcus Riccelli Featured on The WSU Health Sciences Update

State Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) and Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) recently announced their bipartisan support for a WSU medical school in Spokane.

The two legislators are featured on the latest episode of The WSU Health Sciences Update, where they talk about their support.

State Legislators Announce Support for a WSU Medical School in Spokane

Marcus Riccelli

If you haven’t heard yet, there is growing support for a WSU medical school headquartered in Spokane.

On Tuesday, State Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) and State Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) announced bipartisan support for a WSU medical school. The two legislators announced they would introduce bills in their respective chambers to amend a law that is nearly a century old that mandates that only the University of Washington can operate a publicly funded medical school in the state.

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