Legislative News

April 12, 2012

Produced by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Capitol Dome, Olympia

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Past editions of Leg News 2012


In this issue:

Operating budget summary

Capital budget summary

Bills signed by the Governor:

Regulatory relief
• SHB 2259 eliminates state campus safety reporting requirements
• 3SHB 2585 efficiencies for institutions of higher education

Purchasing
• 2SHB 2452 state procurement of goods and services

Educational, Student Services
• ESHB 2592 extending foster care
• ESSB 5991 requiring child abuse reporting
• SSB 6121 requiring a financial aid counseling curriculum

Governance
• SHB 2313 meeting procedures of boards of trustees
• E2SHB 2483 Student Achievement Council
• SSB 5217 students on board of trustees
• 2SSB 5355 meeting notice requirements

Tuition, Fees, Financial Aid
• SHB 2254 educational success for youth and alumni of foster care act
• SHB 2352 posting higher education S&A fees online

Workforce, Economic Development
• E2SHB 2156 workforce training for aerospace and materials manufacturing
• SHB 2673 transportation workforce development
• ESB 6141 creating a lifelong learning program
• SB 6371 extending customized employment training program


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.

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Editors:
Sherry Nelson


Special session grinds to a halt

The Legislature passed final operating and capital budgets early Wednesday morning and adjourned sine die. The Governor will now act on each budget.

Operating budget highlights

There are no general budget reductions to the community and technical college (CTC) system, but the final budget includes both the House proposal to redirect $2 million of existing appropriations to expand STEM enrollments and the Senate proposal to redirect $2 million of existing appropriations for the Customized Training Program.

In addition, the original biennial budget passed last year contains budget reductions for FY 2013 of about 1.5 percent of total state funds.

Summary of the 2012 Supplemental Operating Budget as passed by the Legislature

Budget Reductions: There are no general budget reductions for the community and technical colleges or for other higher education institutions. There are cuts to central services agencies, which translate into cuts in all state agency budgets. But our costs for these central services will also be reduced through rate reductions.

STEM Enrollments: Out of current funds, the CTCs must use $2 million solely to increase enrollments in science, technology, engineering and math. The State Board must report to the Legislature by June 30, 2012, on how the $2 million will be spent. Each June 30 thereafter, the State Board must provide updates on how the $2 million was spent in the previous year.

Customized Training: Out of existing appropriations, $200,000 in FY 2012 and $1.8 million in FY 2013 must be deposited into the Customized Training Account for use solely by that program. This funding will come out of college district base budgets on a one-time basis. (The Customized Training Account provides loans to businesses, so the fund replenishes itself.)

Jefferson Education Center: Out of current funds, the State Board is directed to use $100,000 to fund the Jefferson Education Center. This funding has been provided through the HECB budget since the late 1990s.

Financial Aid: Funding for the State Need Grant and the Work Study Program is maintained at current levels.

Aerospace Training: $131,000 in new funding is provided for 2SHB 2156 which, among other things, requires the SBCTC to facilitate coordination and alignment of aerospace training programs and to establish an aerospace and advanced materials manufacturing pipeline advisory committee.

Baccalaureate Engineering and STEM Enrollments: UW and WSU must use $3.8 million of existing funds to increase engineering enrollments including, for WSU, 30 FTES in mechanical engineering at Olympic College. Each of the regional four-year institutions must also use existing funds to expand their STEM enrollments.

Certificates of Participation (COP) Funding: Debt service is appropriated from our Building Fee Account for capital projects at Skagit Valley College and Lower Columbia College.

Tuition Waiver Study: The State Board must conduct a comprehensive review of its tuition waiver policies and report to the Legislature by December 1, 2012. The baccalaureate institutions must each conduct a review of their own tuition waivers.

Intercollegiate Athletics: The use of appropriated state funds to support intercollegiate athletics programs is prohibited. The baccalaureate institutions have the same prohibition.

Baccalaureate Degrees: Last year’s budget bill is amended to delete “applied” from the proviso allowing Bellevue College to offer certain baccalaureate degrees.

Differential Tuition Authority: The authority to implement differential tuition is removed for both our system and the four-year institutions for the remainder of the biennium.

Differential Tuition Study: By January 2013, a legislative advisory committee will review the impact of differential tuition rates on the GET program and make recommendations about how differential tuition should be addressed to maintain the GET program’s solvency.

Financial Aid: No change in funding for the State Need Grant or the Work Study Program.

Running Start: No change to Running Start funding.

Enrollment Targets: No change to our general enrollment target; however, see STEM enrollments item above.

IT Savings: The Legislative budget directs OFM to reduce agency information technology expenditures by $5 million. This could result in additional reductions to CTC funding.

Compensation: There are no compensation changes that will impact employee pay or health benefits. The employer health benefit funding rate is reduced from $850 to $800 per employee per month due to better than expected experience; it will not impact employee benefits.

Studies of interest

K-12 Finance Study: HB 2824 creates a task force made up of legislators and three Governor-appointees to recommend options for funding enhancements to K-12. If the task force recommends options with no new revenues, they must identify areas of the budget to eliminate or reduce. This bill passed the Legislature and is currently awaiting action by the Governor.

State Need Grant Study: The Washington State Institute for Public Policy is directed to conduct a study of the State Need Grant Program to determine whether funding for the program has been used in the most efficient way possible to maximize the enrollment and degree attainment of low-income students. A report is due to the Legislature by December 1, 2012.

No Higher Education Funding Study: Previous budget proposals included a study of higher education funding. This was not included in the final budget bill nor in a separate policy bill.

Additional related provisions

The ending General Fund-State balance for the biennium is $319 million.

Pension Reform: Certain early retirement provisions are eliminated for PERS and TRS employees hired after May 2013 (2ESB 6378).

Balanced Budget: Beginning with the 2013-15 biennium, the legislature must pass a four-year balanced budget (SSB 6636).

No Change to Initiative 732: Initiative 732, which provides salary increases for CTC faculty, technical college classified staff and K-12 employees, was not repealed as had been proposed earlier in the session. (Note: The suspension of I 732 salary increases for the current biennium is still in effect.)

Initiative 728 Repealed: Initiative 728, which provided additional funding to K-12 to reduce class size, was repealed (HB 2824).

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Capital budget

On Tuesday, the Legislature passed capital budget bills and a resolution to amend the constitutional debt limit. The capital budget funds the top five projects in the community and technical college system’s prioritized request and authorizes all of the system’s alternative financing requests.

The Supplemental Capital Budget bills (SB 5127 and SB 6074) include these provisions:

  • Olympic College Instruction Center Design
  • North Seattle College Technology Building renewal construction
  • Reduces current appropriation for Everett Community College’s Index Hall to recover bid savings
  • Reduces current appropriation for Clover Park Technical College’s Allied Health Care Facility to recover bid savings
  • Funds Tacoma Community College’s Health Careers Center construction
  • Funds Equipment Pool
  • Authorizes Skagit Valley College Academic and Student Services Building
  • Authorizes Lower Columbia College’s Health and Science Building
  • Authorizes a long-term lease for Spokane Community College’s Aerospace Training Center
  • Authorizes renovation of Everett Community College’s Corporate and Continuing Education building
  • Authorizes addition at Spokane’s Institute for Extended Learning
  • Authorizes financing of the ctcLink project

The State Board is to manage the Equipment Pool, which includes an estimated $16,630,000 in requested items, but is only funded with $15 million.

The legislative joint resolution ESJR 8221 will ask voters:

  • For a constitutional change to reduce the debt service limit from 9% to 8% of the trailing average general revenue. The debt limit will be reduced in steps: 8.5% in July 2014, 8.25% in July 2016, and 8% in July 2034. The impact of these changes on the State's future bond capacity is difficult to quantify due to the unpredictability of long-term revenue.
  • To extend the average annual general revenue included in the calculation from three to six years.
  • To include the state portion of property taxes in the definition of general revenue.

These bills have been sent to the Governor. Authorizations will be effective upon signature and allotment of any funds from the Office of Financial Management will likely take one to two months. For the complete budget documents, summary, and agency detail, visit the LEAP website.

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Bills signed by the Governor

For our faithful readers, here is a brief re-cap of key bills of interest to the community and technical colleges during the 2012 regular session. You can find complete bill documents online.

In coming weeks, the system’s comprehensive final session summary will be posted at the SBCTC legislative session page.

Regulatory relief

SHB 2259 regarding higher education reporting, sponsored by Rep. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, eliminates state campus safety reporting requirements for colleges. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 30. Colleges must continue to report as required under the federal Clery Act.

3SHB 2585 creating efficiencies for institutions of higher education, sponsored by Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, was signed by the Governor on March 30. The bill exempts institutions of higher education from certain competitive contracting requirements for goods and services purchases and personal services contracts of $100,000 or less. The bill also authorizes institutions of higher education to make advance payments for up to five years for equipment maintenance services; requires payments of salaries using direct deposit or payroll cards; and to purchase travel in the most cost-effective way possible.  Directs higher education institutions to make expenditures from state funds and operating fee funds proportionately throughout the year to preserve state funds. Requires a report about savings and how savings were used to promote academic success, due January 2017.

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Purchasing

2SHB 2452 regarding state procurement of goods and services, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, was signed by the Governor on March 30. The bill gives the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) clearer authority over higher education purchasing and contracting. DES shall account for differentiation in procurement practices and needs among state agencies and establish policies, standards and procedures to promote greater efficiency.  Clearly defines higher education as a state agency.  Higher education "non-state" funds are exempt from sole source requirements.  Beginning July 2013, state agencies must require employees responsible for developing, executing or managing procurements or contracts to complete DES-approved training or certification programs. Beginning July 2015, no agency employee may execute or manage contracts without meeting the training or certification requirements set by DES.

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Educational, Student Services

ESHB 2592 extending foster care, sponsored by Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, D-Edmonds, was signed by the Governor on March 19. The bill expresses the Legislature’s intent that dependent youth seeking postsecondary academic or vocational education be served through the Extended Foster Care program; not the Foster-Care-to-21 program. Requires the Foster-Care-to-21 program to cease operating in three years. Authorizes the Department of Social and Health Services to provide extended foster care services for youth ages 18 to 21 to participate in or complete a postsecondary or vocational program.

ESSB 5991 requiring child abuse reporting, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, was signed by the Governor on March 19. Administrative, academic and athletic department employees, including student employees, of state and private institutions of higher education must report suspected child abuse or neglect — to either law enforcement or DSHS — if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect. All other employees must report suspected neglect immediately to the appropriate administrator or supervisor as designated by the institution. State higher education institutions must ensure that employees, whether mandated reporters or not, have knowledge of their reporting responsibilities through whatever means are most likely to succeed in providing this information to affected employees.

SSB 6121 requiring the Office of Student Financial Assistance to provide a financial aid counseling curriculum to all higher education institutions participating in the State Need Grant program, sponsored by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, was signed by the Governor on March 7. By July 1, 2013, the curriculum must be available via a website. By the 2013-14 academic year, higher education institutions must take reasonable steps to ensure that each SNG recipient receives information outlined in the bill by directly referencing or linking to the website on the Conditions of Award statement provided to each recipient. Institutions may also require non-SNG students to participate in all or portions of the counseling.

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Governance

SHB 2313 concerning meeting procedures of boards of trustees and boards of regents of institutions of higher education, sponsored by Rep. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, was signed by the Governor on March 30. The bill restates the requirement that governing boards of all higher education institutions follow procedures for open public meetings and provide time for public comment at meetings. Four-year college governing boards must make public their proposals for tuition and fee increases 21 days before considering adoption, and allow opportunity for public comment.

E2SHB 2483 Governor-requested legislation sponsored by Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, was signed by the Governor on March 30. The bill creates the Student Achievement Council (SAC) to replace the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) July 2012.

  • The SAC is composed of nine members: five citizens appointed by the Governor (one a student) and one representative each (chosen by respective organizations) from public baccalaureate institutions, the community and technical college system, the K-12 system, and the Independent Colleges of Washington. The executive director is chosen by the Governor from a list of names submitted by the SAC.
  • The SAC must: develop a strategic road-map, updated every two years; develop performance plans; conduct system reviews; conduct research with the Education Research and Data Center (ERDC) to identify barriers to educational attainment and transitions; track progress toward goals and disseminate results; set minimum college admissions standards for the four-year institutions; and administer Financial Aid.
  • Requires SBCTC to assess whether any of the “complete to compete” measures should be used as performance measures for CTCs.
  • Creates Joint Higher Education Committee comprised of eight legislators (two from each caucus).

SSB 5217 students on board of trustees, sponsored by Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, was signed by the Governor on March 29. By a majority vote, each college board may establish a sixth trustee position to be held by a student. The student will be appointed by the Governor from a list of three to five students put forth by the student body. Each student will serve a one-year term from July through June. The student must be in good academic standing.

2SSB 5355 regarding notice requirements for special meetings of public agencies, sponsored by Sen. Bob Morton, R-Orient, was signed by the Governor on March 29. The bill modifies the Open Public Meetings Act to require that notices of special meetings must be prominently displayed at the main entrance of the agency’s principal location, as well as at the meeting site, if different. Notices must also be posted on an agency’s website.

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Tuition, Fees, Financial Aid

SHB 2254 enacting the educational success for youth and alumni of foster care act, sponsored by Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, was signed by the Governor on March 29. The bill changes the Passport to College Promise expiration date to 2022 and requires that foster youth be automatically enrolled in the college Bound Scholarship program. The bill requires colleges to explain on registration materials that financial and support services may be available for students formerly in foster care.

SHB 2352 concerning institutions of higher education services and activities fees, sponsored by Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Olympia, was signed by the Governor on March 29. The bill requires Services and Activities (S&A) fee committees at institutions of higher education to post S&A fees expenditure information on the institutions’ websites.

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Workforce, Economic Development

E2SHB 2156 regarding workforce training for aerospace and materials manufacturing, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney, D-Seattle, was signed by the Governor on March 19. The bill requires the SBCTC to facilitate coordination and alignment of aerospace training programs including annual evaluations of certain programs for completion and job placement results; and budget recommendations specific to training programs. Makes Renton Technical College students eligible for aerospace training loans

SHB 2673 addressing transportation workforce development, sponsored by Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, was signed by the Governor on March 23. The bill requires the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to expend one-half of one percent of the funds apportioned to the state under a federal program to provide services to increase diversity in the highway construction workforce and prepare individuals interested in entering the highway construction workforce. Requires WSDOT to coordinate with the state’s Apprenticeship Council to provide these services and requires WSDOT, in coordination with the Apprenticeship Council, to report to the Legislature on these activities.

ESB 6141 creating a lifelong learning program, sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, was signed into law by the Governor on March 7. The Lifelong Learning Program is established at the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to allow employees to create Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs). The program is voluntary for employers and employees.

SB 6371 extending the customized employment training program was signed by the Governor on March 16. Sponsored by Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, the bill extends the program for another five years instead of sunsetting the program July 1, 2012.

 

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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, phone 360-704-4310, fax 360-704-4415. Editors: Sherry Nelson