Spin Control

WA Lege Day 18: 4 GOP votes needed for Spokane med school -- Dunshee

OLYMPIA -- A delegation of about 90 Spokane folks continue their blitz of the state Capitol today, with their big goal scaring up money for a proposed medical school building at the Riverpoint campus.

As reported yesterday, the $70.8 million project isn't on Gov. Gregoire's list of Capital Budget projects. But the governor proposes and the Legislature disposes, and this morning the Spokane delegation met with the chairpersons and ranking Republicans of the House and Senate committees that will rewrite that budget.

Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, chairman of the House Capital Budget Committee was fairly blunt about the prospects of adding the med school to the list: "I need four Republican votes."

Dunshee and Rep. Judy Warnicke of Moses Lake, the ranking Republican on that committee, said they understand the arguments that the med school is needed, but as legislator after legislator is telling the Spokane area business leaders and government officials, money is tight because of the recession. There may be some opportunity for more projects in the second year of the biennium, after some bonds are paid off and the state has more bonding capacity, Warnicke said.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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