March 14, 2008, Edition 9
This Week in Legislative News…
Next week in Legislative News…
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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. To be added to the distribution list, email email@example.com.
Suzy Ames, editor
Budget clears the Legislature
The 2008 legislative session concluded Thursday evening with approval of the supplemental operating and capital budgets. In the end, the operating budget leaves $836 million in the state’s coffers, which is one of the highest levels of budget reserves in over 20 years.
The community and technical colleges fared well in the process. Highlights in the operating budget include:
The final budget also provides full funding for the Opportunity Grant program.
The capital budget features a few important items for two-year colleges:
The capital budget provides $1 million in the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission budget for first responder mapping of community and technical college campuses. An additional $200,000 will also allow the Washington State Patrol to review higher education campus safety plans.
The Governor has until April 5 to take action on the budget bills.
One of the responsibilities of the Senate is to confirm the appointments of community and technical college trustees and members of the State Board.
The appointments are made by the governor. New board members are invited to testify before the Senate Higher Education Committee, of which eight did this session. The committee then recommends appointees for confirmation by the full Senate.
The full Senate confirmed 22 trustees and two State Board members, but left eight on the confirmation calendar when time ran out on the 2008 legislative session.
The trustees who were confirmed for the first time by the Senate this session were: John Miller, Peninsula College; Julie McCulloch, Peninsula College; Kirstin Haugen, Cascadia Community College; Renee Finke, Columbia Basin College; Vicki Orrico, Bellevue Community College; Emily Yim, Edmonds Community College; and John Stephens, Skagit Valley College.
Two State Board members had their reappointments confirmed for another four years. They were: Tom Koenninger, Vancouver, and Jim Garrison, Mt. Vernon.
Receiving confirmation for their reappointments to local boards were: Don Meyer, Pierce College; Jim Tsang, Pierce College; Richard Wadley, South Puget Sound Community College; Gene Chase, Everett Community College; Jim Cunningham; Bellingham Technical College; Frank Irigon, Renton Technical College; Darlene Wilder, Wenatchee Valley College; Rhona Sen Hoss, Clark College; Rebecca Chaffee, Grays Harbor College; Michael Heuer, Lower Columbia College; Bob Holloway, Big Bend Community College; Laurie Jinkins, Tacoma Community College; Barbara Rofkar, Whatcom Community College; and Karen Seinfeld, Bates Technical College.
Unconfirmed trustees serve with the full authority of their office. It would take a “do not confirm” vote by the majority of the Senate, or the governor pulling back an appointment before an appointed trustee could lose his or her position on a board. Those not confirmed this year will go to the head of the line next year.
It’s been our pleasure to serve as your legislative reporters this session. The Leg News crew will be back in Olympia next year to cover the whole process all over again.
For our faithful readers, here’s the gripping conclusion: the re-cap of the 2008 bills of interest to the community and technical colleges that passed out of the Legislature and were sent to the governor for her possible signature, veto or partial veto:
Adult literacy, high school completion
Second Substitute House Bill 3129, regarding online learning programs for high school students to earn college credit.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, directs the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to compile and post on its Web site information about online learning programs for high school students to earn college credit.
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6295 creates workplace-based, electronically-distributed learning opportunities.
Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, sponsored the bill which requires the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to study workplace-based distance educational programs, to form a task force to select up to eight institutions of higher education – including four community and technical colleges –to develop and offer pilot projects.
K-12 (related to CTCs)
Second Substitute Senate Bill 6377, sponsored by Rep. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, regarding secondary career and technical education, requires — among other things — all approved preparatory career and technical education (CTE) programs to either lead to industry certification or allow students to earn dual high school and college credit; to develop model CTE programs of study; and provide grants to high demand programs that prepare students for apprenticeships or degrees with substantial employment opportunities.
Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6673, originally introduced by request of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and sponsored by Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, relates to learning opportunities, including eLearning, to assist students to obtain a high school diploma.
Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2783, sponsored by Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, aims to improve statewide communication and coordination of transfer and articulation policies. This information is to be communicated to students and their families in one easily accessible place in a format common among all colleges and universities in the state.
Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, sponsored Substitute Senate Bill 5104, which allows three community and technical colleges — rather than two — to develop and offer applied baccalaureate degree programs.
The SBCTC must select up to three additional colleges to develop and offer programs of study leading to an applied baccalaureate degree. At least one must be a technical college.
Workforce, economic development
Substitute House Bill 2427, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney, D-Seattle, modifies provisions for the cosmetology apprenticeship program.
Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2815, sponsored by Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, provides a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Washington economy and includes provisions for green collar job training. The governor signed the bill into law on Thursday, March 12.
Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, sponsored Substitute Senate Bill 5254, which authorizes a grant program for industry skill panels. Industry skill panels are regional alliances of businesses, labor, and education and training providers in key industry clusters. The panels assess skills gaps in an industry and design and implement strategies to close those gaps.
Senate Bill 6261 requires the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to research and advise the governor and the Legislature regarding policies and programs to alleviate the high unemployment rate of young adults, ages 18 to 24. Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, sponsored the bill.
Substitute Senate Bill 6804, which would create up to four pilot programs at community and technical colleges to train long-term care workers in simulated home environments, was sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor. Colleges could use the money to renovate or expand current facilities.
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Student services, waivers
Substitute House Bill 2582 provides $500,000 in matching grant funds which the SBCTC must award to campus child care centers on a competitive or matching basis. The grants must be used exclusively for the provision of quality child care services for students’ children. Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, D-Edmonds, sponsored the bill.
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6371, clarifies a bill passed last year that provides tuition and fee waivers for veterans’ families. Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, sponsored the bill.
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Substitute Senate Bill 6328, enhancing campus security, was sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle. The bill spells out required elements of the campus safety plans and sets forth a requirement for a self-study on each campus.
Second Substitute Senate Bill 2507, expanding the statewide first responder building mapping information system to higher education facilities, was sponsored by Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace.
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House Concurrent Resolution 4408, headed up by Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, requesting approval of the statewide strategic master plan for higher education, has been filed with the Secretary of State.
Introduced by Rep. Fred Jarrett, D-Mercer Island, Engrossed House Bill 2641 creates a pilot program to test performance agreements at institutions of higher education. Beginning in 2008, performance agreements will be pilot-tested with the public four-year institutions of higher education over a six-year period.
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Going to bat over I-960 fee limits
Last Friday evening, the House Appropriations Committee held a public hearing on Proposed Substitute House Bill 3381, which would approve several user fees charged by state agencies.
The bill is in response to Initiative 960, which passed in 2007, and requires the Legislature to approve all new and increased fees.
Examples of user fees include higher education tuition, lab fees and state park campsite fees.
Charlie Earl, SBCTC executive director, spoke on behalf of the two-year college system, describing a strong need for the colleges to increase tuition up to 2 percent — as the Legislature approved last year — and increase fees to keep pace with growing costs.
“Tuition revenues are essential to provide instruction and support services for the students in the two-year colleges,” Earl said. “Tuition increases [the Legislature] authorized last year will help to keep us whole. If we are unable to increase tuition as the Legislature intended last year, the net effect will be a budget cut for the two-year colleges.”
Earl said our request for fees for new programs reflects our responsiveness to employer demands.
Greg Pierce represented Microsoft saying, “We’re here to endorse the recommendations of our colleges and universities.”
Things for legislators to think about in the interim
On Tuesday, the House Higher Education Committee held an interim planning meeting led by Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver. Members of the Senate Higher Education Committee also participated.
A list of topics was presented as legislators sought additional feedback from higher education leaders about issues to focus on before the next legislative session.
The main topics of discussion included the need to raise public awareness about the underlying challenges facing society with respect to higher education.
Charlie Earl, SBCTC executive director, challenged the group to focus on a significant theme of the HECB Master Plan: to raise educational attainment for more people in society. Earl discussed the challenge of getting the public to understand that falling participation rates can have far-reaching impacts on society.
He also conveyed that it will be hard for legislators to advocate for higher education if they don’t feel that pressure from the public.
Several other higher education stakeholders spoke in support of a larger strategy to inform the public, including Terry Teale, Washington Council of Presidents executive director; Mike Hudson, executive director of the Association of Washington Business’ Institute for Workforce Development & Economic Sustainability; and Madeleine Thompson, policy analyst for the Workforce Training Board.
Sandra Schroeder, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Washington, reminded the committee of the critical role faculty play in all of higher education’s initiatives. Schroeder encouraged the committee not to forget faculty compensation issues during their interim planning.
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