The state Senate tonight approved SB 6239, which redefines marriage as “…a civil contract between two persons who are at least 18 years old and who are otherwise capable.” The bill, which would make same-sex marriage legal in Washington, does not compel religious officials and the clergy to “solemnize any marriage.” The measure, requested by the governor, now goes to the House for consideration.
A tax proposal to back-fill deep cuts in education is looking less and less likely. In order to cut $1 billion-plus from the budget, therefore, the legislature will consider cuts to baccalaureates of up to $150 million.
Feb. 3 is the deadline for bills to be voted out of the committee in which they originated. Budget bills are exempt from the deadline. Here’s a quick look at where some of the key bills are, two days before “cut-off”:
CWU HIGHER EDUCATION BILL WATCH
A P means a bill has moved forward in the legislative process since the last edition of the Bill Watch.
|Bill||Subject Area / Effect||Status|
|SB 6029||Requiring three-year degree programs to be offered by fall 2012.||PSenate Ways & Means|
|HB 2258||Requiring an online higher education transfer and student advising system.||House Higher Ed|
|HB 2436||Requiring quarterly academic advising for students at institutions of higher education.||House Higher Ed|
|HB 2606||Creates the laboratory school partnership program to bring together PBIs and low-achieving public schools to accelerate student achievement and deepen the knowledge and skills of educators.||House Education
Senate Early Learning
|HB 2533||Creating an education-only budget: Requires all appropriations for K-12 basic education, together with appropriations for other K-12 education programs, to be enacted into law before the legislature takes executive action on other budget bills.||House Appropriations|
|SB 6438||Requires school districts, under certain circumstances, to provide remedial education for recent high school graduates or pay the cost of providing state-supported remedial classes for those students.||Senate Early Learning|
|SB 6121||Requiring the office of student financial assistance to provide financial aid counseling curriculum for institutions of higher education.||Senate Ways & Means|
|HB 2352||Requires the S&A fee committee at each baccalaureate, in coordination with the administration of the institution of higher education, to post services and activities fees expenditure information for the prior academic year on the college or university web site.||House Rules|
|HB 2478||Requires a student auditing committee to be created at each four-year institution of higher education.||House Higher Ed|
|HB 2254||Makes the Passport to College Promise permanent, expands goals to include high school graduation of foster youth.||House Ways & Means|
|Creates the student achievement council to set goals and monitor progress for increasing the educational attainment; and (2) Connect the work of education agencies and institutions. Assumes the powers, duties, and functions of the HECB.||Senate Ways & Means|
|HB 2483*||Creates the Student Achievement Council as a new state agency to replace the HECB and assume the duties of the HECB.|
*These bills are morphing rapidly and are long and dense. Here (http://www.hecb.wa.gov/sites/default/files/LegislativeComparison6232_and_6269.pdf) is a good comparison of the two bills. It’s 20 pages, but the gist is in the first four.