April 24, 2009, Edition 15
This Week in Legislative News…
SBCTC Legislative Notebook
Find legislative information, House and Senate member listings, committee lists, and more in the online SBCTC Legislative Notebook.
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Legislative News is published weekly during legislative sessions by the staff of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, 1300 Quince Street SE, PO Box 42495, Olympia, WA 98504-2495, telephone 360-704-4310, FAX 360-704-4415.
Janelle Runyon, editor
Legislature releases operating budget; rumors of special session dead
Despite rumors that a special session would be needed for legislators to complete their work in Olympia, the Legislature released its 2009-11 operating budget proposal today and plans to release the 2009-11 capital budget proposal this evening.
Highlights of the Final 2009-11 Legislative Operating Budget Proposal for the community and technical college system include:
Budget provisos of statewide significance include:
On the financial aid front, State Need Grant funding is increased commensurate with tuition increases and the 70% of median family income threshold for State Need Grant eligibility remains.
The 2009-11 proposed operating budget will now move to a vote in the House and Senate over the next two days. The legislature continues to pursue an adjournment on Sunday, the last day of their regularly scheduled session.
Resident undergraduate tuition
With just days left in the regular session, on Wednesday the House passed Substitute House Bill 2344, regarding resident undergraduate tuition
Among other things, SHB 2344:
Increased tuition is meant to lessen the impact of expected cuts to state spending on higher education. Actual percentage tuition cap amounts will be set in the budget.
Caps are widely expected to be about 14% per year for the four-year institutions and 7% per year for the community and technical colleges. Current statute limits tuition increases to 2% for community and technical colleges; 5% for regional universities; and 7% for research institutions.
This morning, the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed the bill out of committee with no amendments.
Other tuition-setting authority
On Wednesday, the House passed Substitute Senate Bill 5734, regarding tuition at higher education institutions. SSB 5734 provides for tuition rates for students other than resident undergraduates (such as summer quarter, self-support, non-resident, contract, and international).
The bill allows institutions of higher education to continue to set tuition for all other classifications of students through academic year 2012-13.
SSB 5734 requires that each academic year, prior to reducing or increasing tuition, the board of each community and technical college is required to consult with student associations or organizations with undergraduate student representation regarding impacts of potential tuition increases.
Colleges must also provide students with data regarding the percentage of students receiving financial aid, the sources of aid, and the percentage of total costs of attendance paid for by aid.
The House needs to concur with the Senate changes in order for the bill to move.
Lee Lambert, Shoreline Community College president, and Phil Lou, Shoreline graduate, travelled to Washington D.C. and spoke to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about green skills job training.
The hearing was led by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, in the absence of chair Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, held a hearing Tuesday on “Empowering Workers to Rebuild America’s Economy and Longer-Term Competitiveness: Green Skills Training for Workers.”
“We’re here today to talk about how we can retool our workforce for the green economy,” Sen. Murray said. “It’s going to take a skilled, green workforce to free our nation from dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger, more sustainable economic future and the jobs of tomorrow start with increased training efforts today.”
With $500 million available for green initiatives through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the committee is gathering information regarding the best uses for the funds.
The committee also heard from Dean Allen, CEO of the Seattle-based McKinstry Company, who explained the importance of leveraging existing programs and assets, including working with community and technical colleges to provide green jobs training.
“In Washington State—and all across the nation—community and technical colleges are delivering on green jobs training,” Lambert said, speaking on behalf of the Washington community and technical college system.
He shared how Shoreline has added aspects of green jobs training to the college’s wide array of offerings—from the “greening” of its automotive technology program to its solar panel design and installation program. He noted Washington State currently has more than 130 different Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) programs, many aimed at green jobs.
Lambert explained how I-BEST pairs Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language instructors with professional-technical instructors in the classroom to help meet the needs of under-prepared workers. He said Shoreline has already had success in pairing I-BEST with the Automotive Technology Program and is now looking to replicate that success with the Zero Energy Technology program.
When developing green programs, Lambert said the college relies on its strong partner base—both for deciding what training to offer and in the development and delivery of green programs.
“We rely on our partnerships with manufacturing, business and industry, labor, K-12 and local, state and federal governments,” Lambert said. “We know partnerships; we know how to cultivate them; we know how to grow them and we know how to maximize them in order to train workers for a green economy.”
Through Phil Lou’s experiences hiking, backpacking, and working on conservation projects as a teenager in Honolulu—as well as his Peace Corps stint as an inland fisheries volunteer— he developed a strong appreciation for nature and conservation.
When he was ready for a career change, Lou turned to Shoreline’s Zero Energy Program because of his interest in renewable energy technologies. He took classes in photovoltaic design and installation, solar thermal water heating and residential energy audits.
“There is a perception that community colleges are educational stepping-stones to universities. It may be true in some cases, but in my case it was the reverse,” Lou told the committee.”Twenty four years after graduating from the University of Oregon, I attended Shoreline to gain the specialized skills necessary to participate in the emerging green energy industry.”
After obtaining his electrician’s trainee card, Lou became an apprentice at Artisan Electric, Inc., a small, family-owned union business on Vashon Island.
“The skills and education I gained from Shoreline are an asset to this company,” he said “My current responsibilities include photovoltaic design and installation. Our company has already done three installations, with many more scheduled for the future.”
Resolutions recognizing the partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the higher education community were adopted by the Senate Thursday morning and by the House on February 26.
House Resolution 4625, introduced by Rep. Dennis Flannigan, D-Tacoma, and Senate Resolution 8632, introduced by Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle, recognize the vital partnership between the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and institutions of higher education in the ongoing success of Washington state veterans’ continuing education and transition into the civilian workforce.
The resolution notes more than two million veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan will have the opportunity to attend college under the new and improved G.I. Bill. When the vast majority of those veterans pursue higher education, that group will become the largest to do so from any war in American history.
The transition from military service to civilian life—including life on a college or university campus—can be challenging.
Realizing this, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Counseling Program has identified best practices that lead to a veteran’s success in higher education.
The department has started sharing the findings with college personnel throughout the state. The goal is to create veteran-friendly campus characteristics that lead to improved academic stability and success for returning war veterans.
Copies of the resolution were forwarded to all institutions of higher education working to integrate veterans into their programs.
With the regular legislative session coming to a close, many bills are making their way to the Governor’s office for her signature.
There will be more to report next week. A link to more detail is provided for each bill.
Signed by Governor
The following bills have already been signed into law by Gov. Gregoire.
SHB 1323 Providing for coordination of workforce and economic development, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney, D-Seattle.
HB 1474 Changing border county opportunity program provisions, sponsored by Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Carrolls.
HB 1675 Changing the work experience provisions of the alternative route partnership grant program, sponsored by Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett.
SHB 1808 Creating an interdisciplinary work group for paramedic and nursing training, sponsored by Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum.
Delivered to Governor
The Governor has five days to sign a bill during session and 20 days after session.
SSB 5001 Eliminating the matching fund requirement for the American Indian endowed scholarship program, sponsored by Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle.
SSB 5044 Changing work-study provisions, sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.
SSB 5286 Regarding exemptions from the WorkFirst program, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma.
SB 5410 Regarding online learning, sponsored by Sen. Eric Oemig, D-Kirkland.
ESSB 5414 Regarding statewide assessments and curricula, sponsored by Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell.
ESSB 5473 Designating projects of statewide significance, sponsored by Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup.
SB 5616 Connecting business expansion and recruitment to customized training, sponsored by Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds.
SB 5720 Including stepchildren in tuition waivers for children of veterans and national guard members, sponsored by Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla.
SSB 5776 Regarding student fees, charges, and assessments, sponsored by Sen. Joe McDermott, D-34th District.
ESSB 5873 Regarding apprenticeship utilization, sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle.
ESB 5925 Regarding insurance for higher education students participating in study or research abroad, sponsored by Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds.
2SHB 1025 Requiring disclosure of certain information relating to higher education course materials, sponsored by Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee.
SHB 1395 Clarifying terms for workforce and economic development, sponsored by Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver.
SHB 1415 Providing for the sales of wine at the legislative gift center, sponsored by Rep. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle.
SHB 1943 Requiring recommendations for preparation and professional development for the early learning and school-age program workforce, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest ParK.
2SHB 1946 Regarding higher education online technology, sponsored by Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle.
E2SHB 2021 Revitalizing student financial aid (Opportunity Pathway bill), sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney, D-Seattle.
ESHB 2049 Concerning personnel practices regarding exempt employment, sponsored by Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-26th District.
2SHB 2119 Expanding dual credit opportunities, sponsored by Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver.