Voters this fall will be asked to consider a constitutional amendment that would allow the state's two research universities to invest a portion of their reserve funds in private companies or stocks.
The measure, Senate Joint Resolution 8223, was approved by the Legislature earlier this year. Because it is an amendment to the state constitution, voters' approval is required.
The measure would affect only the University of Washington and Washington State University, creating an exception to constitutional restrictions on how they invest public funds.
Proponents call it a common-sense way to maximize funding for higher education and say voters have granted this type of investment authority for several other funds, including state pension funds, disability funds, the industrial-insurance trust fund and university trust-land revenues.