OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee implied Thursday that he will sign a bill giving Washington State University permission to start its own medical school in Spokane. But he made clear that funding decisions still remain.
At a brief press conference, Inslee said he wouldn’t contest the almost certain legislative decision to give WSU that authority. Earlier this week, the House and Senate passed identical bills giving WSU that permission by rewriting a 1917 law that allowed only the University of Washington to operate a medical school.
In the past, Inslee has refused to comment on the controversy between the two universities over expanding medical school education in Spokane, where WSU jointly operated an established program with UW until last year.
“I’m not putting any roadblocks in the way of the legislative decision,” Inslee said when asked if he’d sign the bill when a final version comes to him.
But that legislation has no price tag attached, so another decision will have to be made by by legislative budget writers on whether to provide WSU the $2.5 million it is seeking to attain accreditation for the new school. That’s part of a bigger question of how does the state pay for increased medical education, Inslee said.
“That’s the next task at hand,” he said.
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