WSU Spokane is a sponsor of the event, and Chancellor Lisa Brown spoke to about 50 attendees during one session on the need for a second public medical school in Washington and WSU’s plans to pursue one.
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.
The Washington House of Representatives passed its version of the medical school bill tonight.
The bill would allow WSU to operate a medical school on its Spokane campus (it also allows WSU to operate a forestry program, as Rep. Ed Orcutt deftly pointed out).
So what’s the next step? The Senate still needs to vote on its version of the bill. The bill would also need approval from Governor Inslee.
The bill simply changes a 1917 law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington. WSU is also asking for $2.5 million in startup funds to work through the accreditation process. Those budget discussions will come at a later date.
The legislature is scheduled to end its session on April 26.
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.
Today, Senate Bill 5487 – commonly known as the medical school bill – is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, the committee that tackles budget issues related to legislative bills. The medical school bill in the House – House Bill 1559 – has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee. A hearing for that bill is yet to be determined.
Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) is the sponsor of House Bill 1559, which would allow WSU to operate a medical school in Spokane. His office produced this video where he talks about his support of a WSU medical school: