The Washington state legislature ended its 2023 session on April 23, passing robust operating and capital budgets that will strengthen Evergreen and enhance our support for students.
The budgets reflect Evergreen’s energetic advocacy on behalf of our students, staff and faculty. Many of them, along with Evergreen alumni and board members, engaged directly with legislators over the session. The budgets are also strong evidence of appreciation and respect for the work Evergreen is doing to raise enrollment and improve service to students.
A few budget highlights: we received funding for positions to help students with federal and state financial aid, administer the Native Pathways program, support underrepresented students and coordinate the Early Childhood Education program at Evergreen Tacoma.
Additional funds are earmarked for helping students meet basic needs, overhauling our student-facing IT systems and further developing our corrections education programs. A long-needed renovation of the SEM I building is fully funded, as well as minor works and maintenance accounts that pay the salaries of some staff. We received funding for increases in faculty and staff compensation, and another allocation for represented student workers.
In personal visits and public testimony over the four-month session, President John Carmichael, Director of Government Relations Sandy Kaiser and others made sure to let legislators know about our progress and ambitions for Evergreen.
Senators Mark Mullet, Yasmin Trudeau (a Greener), Emily Randall and Sam Hunt, who represents Evergreen in the 22nd Legislative District offered special support. Representatives Vandana Slatter and Mari Leavitt, along with our local representatives Beth Doglio and Jessica Bateman (a Greener) worked on our behalf throughout the session. There are many others who also helped us along the way.
Over the interim, we will be continuing to meet with key legislators to update them on the college and hear their views on higher education and Evergreen.