This Week in Oly: Budget Talks, Science II, and More Tuition Bills

House and Senate budget writers have been huddled since last week trying to iron out differences between plans for addressing the budget gap the state faces between now and June 30. They’re hoping to get to a final “early action” solution soon.

The economy isn’t helping out much. On Thursday economic forecasters reported the state economy was growing even slower than anticipated. State tax collectors have taken in about $45 million less than what they were forecasted to bring in last November. Circle March 17 in red on your calendar. That’s the revenue forecast that the legislature will use to write the budget that covers 2011-2013.

Coming up this week.

Steve Dupont, Bill Vertrees, and Tim Melbourne will meet with legislators to urge their support for CWU’s top priority for the construction budget, Science Phase II.  Phase I was built about 12 years ago when the legislature split a single project deemed too expensive. For the upcoming biennium we’re requesting $3.5 million to design Science II.

Steve is, of course, the legislative expert of this bunch and has put together an exhausting set of meetings over two days. Bill Vertrees brings a background of remarkable success developing state-of-the-art capital facilities at CWU. And Tim is a faculty scientist who can speak in concrete terms of the value of the state investment in this science facility. Both Bill and Tim are experienced in the art of making a compelling pitch to lay audiences in 5 minutes or less. Good luck!

Monday, February 14

House Higher Education will hear HB 1863, increasing assistance for student veterans at institutions of higher education, and may vote on the following:

–     HB 1822 – Establishing WGU as the first nonprofit online university.

–     HB 1654 – Regarding tuition for excess credits at institutions of higher education.

–     HB 1808 – Creating the launch year program.

–     HB 1666 – Implementing the higher education funding task force recommendations.

–     HB 1795 – Enacting the higher education opportunity act.

Tuesday, February 15

House Education Appropriations & Oversight Committee will hear HB 1849, establishing the Washington state education council.

Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development will hear the following bills: 

–     SB 5674 – Creating the aerospace training student loan program.

–     SB 5608 – Increasing assistance for student veterans at institutions of higher education.

–     SB 5654 – Regarding recognition of common course numbering at institutions of higher education.

–     SB 5636 – Concerning the University Center of North Puget Sound.

–     SB 5719 – Regarding tuition at institutions of higher education for students with disabilities.

House Labor & Workforce Development will hear HB 1846, which creates the aerospace training student loan program.

Wednesday, February 16

House Higher Education may vote on HB 1792, concerning the University Center of North Puget Sound.

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education will hear the following

–     SB 5726 – Regarding innovation schools.

–     SB 5725 – Providing a pilot program for STEM teacher certification.

–     SB 5603 – Regarding online education.

The House Technology, Energy and Communications Committee will hear HB 1711, which deals with the provision of telecommunications services by public entities.

HB 1841 – Addressing management and consolidation of state information technology.

 Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development will hear SB 5749, regarding the Washington advanced college tuition payment (GET) program.

Thursday, February 17

House Higher Education will hear HB 1863, which increases assistance for student veterans at institutions of higher education.

Friday, February 18

Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development will hear the following

–     SB 5679 – Providing for per-student cost recovery revenue at institutions of higher education.

–     SB 5664 – Concerning the Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

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About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office schactler@cwu.edu, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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