Washington State House Democrats


Statement from Rep. Marcus Riccelli on Senate passage of his WSU Medical School legislation

“Today is a great day for health care in Washington. With the passage of my legislation allowing Washington State University to start their own medical school, we are giving more local students the chance to continue their education in-state. Chances for surviving cancer should not be based on the county you live in. When we have more doctors training and eventually completing their residencies here, we can finally start seriously addressing the physician shortage we see in our rural and underserved communities in a much greater capacity.

Spokane has the necessary infrastructure to meet this growing need, with a state investment of over $159 million in the Riverpoint campus over the last several decades. A medical school east of the Cascades gives us the opportunity to expand how we teach and deliver medical care. A new generation of doctors will engage in cutting-edge community-based training to ensure Washington patients get the care they deserve.

I want to personally thank State Senator Michael Baumgartner for his partnership and hard work on this legislation. Senator Baumgartner and Senator Billig helped shepherd my bill and the companion through the senate, and their work was invaluable. I also want to thank WSU President Elson Floyd for demonstrating WSU’s ability to hit the ground running on this important addition to our state’s medical infrastructure.

Most notably, I want to acknowledge and thank the litany of stakeholders and community members who helped advance the vision of a Spokane medical school, and whose contributions and dedication are why we have this opportunity today.”