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WSU Health Sciences Spokane Extra Spokane Medical School

Washington Senate Approves Medical School Bill

WSU Medical School
WSU Medical School
Photo credit: Sean Airhart, NBBJ


The morning after a late-night approval from the House, the Washington Senate approved its medical school bill by a vote of 45-4.

The action by the House and Senate changed a 1917 law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington. The two chambers will now decide which bill to move to Governor Inslee for his signature.

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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

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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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.