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Revenue up and forecast strong as Legislature passes floor cutoff

February 16, 2018 by SBCTC Communications

The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its February economic and revenue update Thursday, projecting an increase of $1.3 billion in state revenue through 2021. Revenue collections from Nov. 11 through Feb. 10 were $185 million higher than the last forecast released in November. This is good news for state budget writers as they prepare to release capital and operating budgets next week.

Also this week, the Legislature reached its third cutoff of the session Wednesday, as bills needed to be voted out of their originating chamber in order to continue in the legislative process.

Textbook stipend bill heard in Senate Higher Education committee

Feb. 15 — At its first hearing back from cutoff, the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee took up a bill — E2SHB 2009 — that would provide a $500 annual textbook stipend to children and spouses who receive a tuition waiver because their parent or spouse died, became disabled, is considered a prisoner of war, or is missing in action during active military service.

Rep. Kristine Reeves is the bill’s prime sponsor.

“The bill before you is just one more way that we can say thank you to those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for service to our country,” she said. She continued that the stipend would help alleviate financial burdens on these students.

Ruben Flores, a student services policy associate with the State Board, testified in favor of the bill.

“As a veteran, I am happy to always brag to my fellow veterans about the work Washington does to support its veterans and military members. We’re happy to support this bill,” he said.

Flores said he hoped committee members would be willing to discuss how the stipend would work for part-time and full-time students, scalability, and the impact on colleges that have high numbers of students eligible for the stipend. He also asked the Legislature include appropriations to implement the stipend.

Bill status roundup

The following bills are being monitored by the college system.

Bill number Bill title Bill status
EHB 1237 Modifying collective bargaining law to authorize providing additional compensation to academic employees at community and technical colleges

Feb. 7: Passed House 57-41

Feb. 15: Senate Labor and Commerce Committee executive action

E2SHB 1488 Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students

Feb. 13: Passed House 56-42

Feb. 20: Scheduled for hearing in Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee

E2SHB 2177 Creating the rural county high employer demand jobs program

Feb. 8: Passed House 98-0

Feb. 15: Heard in Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee

HB 2669 Adding part-time employees to state civil service

Feb. 12: Passed House 50-47

Feb. 16: Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections executive action

SHB 2685 Promoting preapprenticeship opportunities for high school students

Feb. 7: Passed House 98-0

Feb. 19: Scheduled for executive session in Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee

SSB 5074 Aligning eligibility for the college bound scholarship program with the state need grant program

Jan. 24: Passed Senate 38-11

Jan. 26: Referred to House Higher Education Committee

ESB 5917 Requiring a systemwide credit policy regarding international baccalaureate exams. (REVISED FOR ENGROSSED: Requiring a systemwide credit policy regarding international baccalaureate and Cambridge international exams.)

Feb. 14: Passed Senate 48-0

Feb. 23: Scheduled for executive session in House Higher Education Committee

SSB 6203 Reducing carbon pollution by moving to a clean energy economy Feb. 15: Heard in Senate Ways and Means Committee
SB 6248 Granting of high school diplomas by community or technical colleges

Feb. 9: Passed Senate 47-0

Feb. 22: Scheduled for executive session in House Education Committee

2SSB 6274 Helping foster and homeless youth complete apprenticeships

Feb. 12: Passed Senate 35-12

Feb. 21/23: Scheduled for executive session in House Higher Education Committee

E2SSB 6362 Modifying basic education provisions

Feb. 14: Passed Senate 25-22

ESSB 6486 Expanding registered apprenticeship programs

Feb. 13: Passed Senate 31-16

Feb. 21/23: Scheduled for executive session in House Higher Education Committee

SSB 6514 Concerning suicide prevention and behavioral health in higher education, with enhanced services to student veterans

Feb. 8: Passed Senate 48-0

Feb. 21/23: Scheduled for executive session in House Higher Education Committee

Coming up next week

The House and Senate are expected to release their operating and capital budgets next week. The schedule is:

  • Senate capital budget (SB 6095): hearing Feb. 19, executive session Feb. 20
  • House operating budget (HB 2299): hearing Feb. 20, executive session Feb. 21
  • Senate operating budget (SB 6032): hearing Feb. 20, executive session Feb. 21
  • House capital budget (HB 2395): hearing Feb. 22

Hearings will continue next week as policy committees have until Friday before the session's fourth cutoff.

Last Modified: 6/20/19 9:24 AM
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