Facing billions of dollars in needs for education and other programs, how is the state Legislature supposed to write a budget this year? And, with the state and the Pacific Northwest ever more dependent on jobs that require advanced degrees, how will higher education come out of the budget squeeze?
Those are some of the pressing questions that Crosscut's Civic Cocktail will put to a panel of local decisionmakers.
The Feb. 4 event at Tom Douglas' Palace Ballroom will feature Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd, who will talk with host and veteran journalist Joni Balter about higher education, its funding as part of the entire education system, the plan for a medical school in Spokane — and any other Cougar-related questions on the audience's mind. Plus, Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, and Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, will talk with Balter about the state budget. A panel of journalists — Essex Porter of KIRO-7 Eyewitness News, Crosscut's Berit Anderson and Linda Shaw of The Seattle Times — will also join the discussions.
The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program, cosponsored with Seattle City Club and the Seattle Channel, begins at 6. Tickets are $20 for Crosscut or CityClub members, $25 for the general public and $25 at the door. The reservations are filling up but you can register for the program here. (There are often a few seats available at the event from no-shows.) We hope to see you there, but if for some reason you can't make it, you can catch the program later on the Seattle Channel.
Whether you attend or watch later on TV, here's some background reading to turn you into a smartypants on higher education and the state budget.
"No need for boxing gloves at Spokane med school session," The Spokesman-Review, Jan. 22.
"Higher education can't afford another budget cut," Seattle Times, Jan. 5.
"Education of Washington's students shoould come before corporate welfare," Crosscut, Sept. 2.
"Washington's higher education challenge," Crosscut, Aug. 13, 2013.
"Northeastern U: The start of a new SLU U-district?" Crosscut, Feb. 19, 2013.
"Tax reform impasse has Legislature all tied up in knots," Crosscut, Jan. 7.
"Inslee proposes new taxes to meet state needs," Crosscut, Dec. 18.
"Sales tax hike, income tax? Not likely," Crosscut, Dec. 12.
"Inslee and Obama are playing a new political game: DOA leadership," Crosscut, Jan. 22.
"State faces historic budget challenges," Crosscut, Nov. 17 (guest opinion by Rep. Hunter).
And in case you missed December's Civic Cocktail discussion of immigration reform and government technology initiatives, you can check out the Seattle Channel broadcast here.