Legislature adjourns after passing operating, capital budgets
The Legislature adjourned sine die Sunday just after 10 p.m., passing the capital budget on Saturday and the operating budget on Sunday. The Senate also spent time voting to confirm trustees to college boards of trustees and to the State Board.
Operating budget fully funds cost of living adjustments
The Legislature voted Sunday to pass the 2023-25 biennial operating budget. It included cost of living adjustment compensation that are fully funded by the state's General Fund. This is a change from past COLAs, funding for which was split between the General Fund and colleges.
Also included in the budget is funding for system diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, refugee education and nursing enrollments. Funding for bills passed this session was also part of the final budget:
- Establishing the student basic needs at public postsecondary institutions act (2SHB 1559)
- Expanding the students experiencing homelessness and foster youth pilot program (ESSB 5702)
- Reducing barriers and expanding educational opportunities to increase the supply of nurses in Washington (E2SSB 5582)
- Eliminating college in the high school fees (2SSB 5048)
The budget additionally included proviso funding for:
- Supply chain trucking grants
- Northwest Maritime Apprenticeship program at Bellingham Technical College
- Career and technical education dual credit pilot
- Dual credit pilot program at Renton Technical College
- Civics Education and Leadership program at Everett Community College
- Seattle Maritime Academy at Seattle Central College
- Dental Therapy Education program at Skagit Valley College
- College in the High School Pilot program at Olympic College
Capital budget funds six new major projects
The final biennial capital budget was released Friday. The House voted to pass it later that day, and the Senate approved it Saturday. For the community and technical college system, the budget included full funding for requested facility maintenance and minor works funds. It also funds six major projects at:
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology (Center for Design)
- Bates Technical College (Fire Service Training Center)
- Everett Community College (Baker Hall Replacement)
- Tacoma Community College (Center for Innovative Learning and Engagement)
- Wenatchee Valley College (Center for Technical Education and Innovation)
- Shoreline Community College (STE(A)M Education Center)
The budget also funds Career Prep and Career Launch equipment grants, part of the Career Connect Washington program, and an allocation to fund decarbonization plans to meet the Clean Buildings Act requirements.
The Senate over the weekend confirmed 23 trustees to college boards of trustees and to the State Board.
- Sharone Navas, Green River College: “[She] has been very inclusive and very empowering to communities of color and creating coalitions and working towards the betterment of our communities. ... She brings her strengths as she empowers other people. I had the pleasure serving with her previously on the Green River Board of Trustees before I came here to the Senate, and she is a great leader on education, a dedicated individual, and I really support this confirmation.” Sen. Claudia Kauffman said.
- Crystal Donner, State Board for Community and Techincal Colleges: "I think this is exactly the right kind of person for our community and technical colleges in a state where we have placed emphasis on our STEM learning programs in high school. This is just an excellent extension for those young people who move on to community and technical colleges to see someone like Crystal and who has succeeded in the field of engineering," Sen. Keith Wagoner said.
- Ben Bagherpour, State Board for Community and Techincal Colleges: "I have the good fortune of knowing Ben Bagherpour and, having worked with him for many years, can share from a personal standpoint, Ben’s expertise as a high-tech professional has been really invaluable to my community in Southwest Washington, and as he's helped to support our economic development work for a very long while. But I also want to share Ben's true passion is supporting our students and our young people's pursuit of education and particularly in creating opportunities for internships within the high-tech sector," Sen. Annette Cleveland said.
- Thomas Lux, Shoreline Community College: "He used to be a member of the machinists union working at The Boeing Company, and, currently, he is the president of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association and has been very active in the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement. And before that, he attended Marquette University from 1965 to 1968 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and in in 1976 earned and Associate of Science degree at Waukesha Technical Institute. He is also a very active member of the Shoreline Community College Board of Trustees," Sen. Karen Keiser said.
- Carl Zapora, Edmonds College: "Carl Zapora has already been serving as a member of the Edmonds College Board of Trustees and has been doing so very ably. ... He is an active servant in his community and involved with the Chamber of Commerce and interested in ensuring that students leave Edmonds College ready to fill the jobs of the workforce in his community and in our state," Sen. Emily Randall said.
- Gary Chandler, Big Bend Community College: "He is so excited to be confirmed as a [member of the] Board of Trustees for Big Bend Community College. He was a former representative for District 13 as was his father, Glyn Chandler. ... He has held office as a Grant County commissioner and has been on the Workforce Training [and Education Coordinating] Board along with the [Association of Washinton Business] organization. He's been active in our Moses Lake Chamber and is on the Big Bend Community College Foundation," Sen. Judy Warnick said.
- David Earling, Edmonds College: "David O. Earling received a music degree from Eastern Washington University and Washington State University. David served as the mayor of the City of Edmonds from 2011 to 2019. David was also part of several organizations, including the Cascade Symphony Board, Edmonds Civic Roundtable Board, and was President of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce," Sen. Jeff Holy said.
- Bertha Ortega, Yakima Valley College: “I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Bertha Ortega for many years and consider her a friend of mine. Bertha received a [Master of Arts Degree] from Fort Wright College in 1977. She worked as an assistant vice president for academic affairs at Heritage University from 1980 to 2014. More importantly, she was part of the group with Sister Kathleen Ross that helped found that university. She has served with the [Toppenish Community Hospital] since 1981 and currently on the board of the Yakima Valley Museum. And as you can see, she has been an integral part of a of the Yakima Valley community for many years,” Sen. Curtis King said.
- Patrick Baldoz, Yakima Valley College: “Well I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Patrick for many years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Central Washington University. He has spent the last six years as CEO of a private business, a consulting firm based out of Yakima. But before that he previously worked as director of the South Central Workforce Council and with the Yakima County Department of Employment and Training. He is involved with the Yakima County Development Association, [MultiCare Yakima Memorial Hospital] and the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce, and he has previously served one term on the Yakima Valley [College] Board of Trustees. As you can see, he, too, is an integral part of our valley and has been for many years,” Sen. Curtis King said.
- Colleen Ponto, Cascadia College: “Colleen has served on the Cascadia College Board of Trustees since last year. She is a senior consultant for the Unified Consulting firm and was Director of Leadership Development at Providence Saint Joseph Health from 2018 to 2020. She has been very active at the St. Edwards [State Park] playground and St. Edward Environmental Learning Center, which was in my district [in Kenmore] until last year,” Sen. Javier Valdez said.
- Jeff Davis, South Puget Sound Community College: “I've been able to call on him through the years on issues, to get his take and his opinion on [issues], and we developed the heck of a friendship. I think he is a wonderful addition to the college board,” Sen. Drew MacEwen said.
- Wendy Bohlke, Whatcom Community College: “Wendy K. Bohlke attained a [Doctor of Jurisprudence] from Willamette University College of Law in 1977 and, shortly thereafter, ended up being employed as senior counsel and eventually assistant attorney general in the [Attorney General's] office from 1979 to 2013. During that same period of time, she also joined the Board of Directors of one of my most beloved regional organizations, the Mount Baker Theater, where many of our children had the opportunity to see plays of various kinds and provide all kinds of services in our community,” Sen. Liz Lovlett said.
- Lois Bernstein, Tacoma Community College: “Lois Bernstein received a Master of Business Administration from the University of California Irvine in 1989. Ms. Bernstein has worked as a Senior Vice President and Chief Community Executive of MultiCare Health Systems since 1998. Ms. Bernstein also is a member and chair of the Tacoma Community College [Board of Trustees] and has been since 2017,” Sen. Jeff Holy said.
- Harriette Bryant, Olympic College: “Harriette is literally the pillar of my community, probably literally one of the most popular adults in the county. ... Most notably, the reason that everyone knows her is because she is the founder, the heart and the soul of an organization called OurGEMS, which is Our Girls Empowered through Mentoring and Service, which has adopted groups of girls in middle schools and high schools around the county and taught them how to be self-sufficient and proud and to lead with service.” Sen. Christine Rolfes said.
- Richard Fukutaki, Bellevue College: “Richard Fukutaki has a very solid background in Education. ... He has also been an active member of the community and has been involved with the Bellevue Boys and Girls Clubs and is currently with the International School in [Bellevue School District]. Also, he has been part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, making sure that young people have opportunities to understand more about science and math and to pursue careers in those areas.” Sen. Lisa Wellman said.
- Richard Kaiser, Bellingham Technical College: “Richard P. Kaiser earned his Bachelor of Arts in Oceanography in 1977 and a Master of Science in Marine Engineering in 1980, both from the University of Washington. Richard is the project manager at [AIS] Software, where he has been since 2013, and he is active in Rotary [Club] and the Technology Alliance Group [for Northwest Washington]. I'm sure his work at Bellingham Technical College is well regarded in the fields of data and in oceanography which are big fields in our area.” Sen. Liz Lovelett said.
- Michael Karnofski, Lower Columbia College: “Mr. Karnofski earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Washington in 1972 and a Master of Business Administration in 1984 from the University of Portland. He also retired from Weyerhaeuser in Engineering and Management Services, which he served from 1974 to 2010. ... He is also continually active in the Cowlitz Economic Development Council, Pathways 2020, Kelso Rotary [Club] has known him for 30 plus years and currently ... he serves as the mayor for the City of Kelso.” Sen. Jeff Wilson said.
- Tom Eckmann, Olympic College: “Tom Eckmann is a perfect fit for our community college. He was appointed in 2019 and has been serving on the board since that time including currently [as] the chair of the board. ... He is active in our community, serving as the chair of the North Kitsap County Fishing Board, and, I want a special shout out, he [oversaw] fundraising when that small food bank expanded and became a complete social services hub for North Kitsap County.” Sen. Christine Rolfes said.
- Doug Mah, South Puget Sound Community College: “Doug has been on the [South Puget Sound Community College Board of Trustees] since 2016. ... And, for those of us that have the privilege of representing Thurston [County] either at the state or federal level, know Doug Mah well for his never-ending enthusiasm to advocate for this region and is a strong voice for everything that goes on … at the college or for this region, and its transportation needs and other infrastructure. He's a strong advocate and I highly recommend his confirmation to the Board of Trustees for South Puget Sound Community College,” Sen. Drew MacEwen said.
- Timothy Burt, Walla Walla Community College: “Mr. Burt has a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Washington. Worked for the school district in Pomeroy for many, many years — 1991 to 2014. He has also been active with Garfield County Pioneer Association.” Sen. Mark Schoesler said.
- Toraya Miller, Everett Community College: “Toraya Miller graduated from the University of Washington Pacific Coast Banking School in 2015. Toraya has worked as a Membership and Program Manager at the Greater Seattle Business Association since 2019 and served on the Everett Community College Board of Trustees since 2015. I recommend a confirmation.” Sen. John Lovick said.
- Harry Carthum, Grays Harbor College: “Harry Carthum received a Doctorate in Education from Seattle University in 1987. Harry has also worked as a director in the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Harry has served as a board member for Grays Harbor College since 2015 as well as a [member of the] Washington Association of School Administrators since 1978, and I urge confirmation.” Sen. Jeff Holy said.
- Colleen Echohawk, Seattle Colleges: “Colleen has received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch University, as well as certificate in organizational leadership. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Eighth Generation, and, for seven years, she worked as Executive Director for Housing and Homelessness at the Chief Seattle Club. She serves on several different boards [doing] community organizing. She's a member of the Pawnee Nation, and she has 20 years’ experience working in native community organizing, in homelessness human services, as well as economic development.” Sen. Claudia Kauffman said.