Legislative budgets next step: negotiations before “sine die” on March 8.

What a week. On Tuesday the Senate released a budget plan with NO cuts to higher education. What’s next? Flying pigs? Dogs and cats living together?

The House path to a budget was rocky. It took several days to get enough votes to move the budget out of the House. Now the Senate, Governor, and House have to sit down and figure out a single version of the budget. Will they make it out by March 8?  Two days ago legislative leaders were optimistic. Not so much today. I’m betting it’ll take more than the allotted 60 days to put a period on this.

Meantime, bills are moving forward. Here’s a quick update.




Bill Subject Area / Effect Status


SB 6029 Requiring three-year degree programs to be offered by fall 2012. Dead
HB 2258 Requiring an online higher education transfer and student advising system. Dead
SB 6164 Authorizes students in the military reserve to make up classes, tests,

examinations, laboratories, or events without prejudice to the final course grade or evaluation.

SB 5982 Joint center for aerospace conference
HB 2533 Creating an education-only budget Dead
HB 2799 Collaborative Schools for Innovation and Success pilot project.  Teams six colleges of education with six low performing schools in a multi-year


House Education


SB 5991 Extending mandatory child abuse reporting requirements to specified employees of institutions of higher education. Conference
HB 2313 Requires the boards of trustees and regents to 1) follow procedures

for open public meetings in the open public meetings act; and

2) provide time for public comment at each meeting

SB 6390 Requires PBIs to create a student auditing committee to review a portion of the university operating budget each year. Dead


SB 6121 Requiring the office of student financial assistance to provide financial aid counseling curriculum for institutions of higher education. Conference
HB 2352 Concerning institutions of higher education services and activities fees. Governor
HB 2259 Minimizes the regulatory burden on institutions of higher education by eliminating reporting requirements that are duplicative of federal reporting requirements. Governor
SB 5984 Wenatchee arena bill Gov Signed
SB 6399 Regarding program fees at institutions of higher education. Senate Ways & Means

Financial Aid

SB 6322 Allowing WGU to participate in state need grant program. Dead
HB 2254 Makes the Passport to College Promise permanent, expands goals to include high school graduation of foster youth. Governor
SB 6121 Requiring the office of student financial assistance to provide a financial aid counseling curriculum for institutions of higher ed. Senate Higher Ed


SB 6232

HB 2483

Abolishes the HECB and creates and transfers HECB duties to the Office of the Student Achievement Council, which will 1.) set goals for increasing the educational attainment, and 2.) connect the work of K-12, two-year, and 4-year boards/agencies. Creates a legislative committee to review the council’s work and make budget recommendations to reach council goals.


House Higher Ed

House Ways & Means



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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