2015 Legislative Session
March 18, 2015
We are just past the halfway mark of the 2015 regular legislative session, as today is day 66 of the 105-day session. Wednesday of last week was the cutoff for legislation not necessary to implement the budget to have been voted out of the chamber of origin – either the Senate or House of Representatives – and many bills have dwindled out of consideration through the legislative process to this point. Policy committees are now considering bills that passed out of the opposite chamber and have until the next legislative cutoff on April 1 to pass bills to the floor or a fiscal committee.
The higher education committees in the House and Senate have begun holding public hearings on bills from the opposite chamber. For example, yesterday these committees began consideration of legislation regarding a study of the cost drivers of higher education, fiscal exemptions for surviving family members of certain highway workers, and tuition-setting authority at public higher education institutions. You can track upcoming meeting agendas for the higher education committees for the House and for the Senate.
In addition to policy committees churning away, House and Senate budget writers are gearing up to release their budget proposals during the coming weeks. Leaders in the House of Representatives are expected to release their operating and capital budget proposals sometime between March 23 and early April, followed by the Senate releasing their proposals soon thereafter.
And finally, today is the Regents and Trustees Day of Action in Olympia. Four Western trustees are joining regents and trustees from public higher education institutions around the state in meetings with key legislators to discuss the importance of public investment in higher education.
Until next time, go Vikings!