April 25, 2013

Today is day 102 of the Legislative Session, scheduled to end on Sunday, April 28th. The House Higher Education Committee met for its final meeting on Tuesday. On the agenda was an update from the Washington Student Achievement Council, and a member discussion on interim planning.

Today is day 102 of the Legislative Session.

The House Finance Committee met this week and voted on their revenue package, which is a necessary piece of the House Democrats proposed budget as it relies on new money. The legislation, House Bill 2038, passed the House floor on Wednesday by a vote of 50 to 47.

Yesterday, President Shepard was in Olympia meeting with key legislators to discuss the importance of investing in public higher education, and the areas where Western is uniquely positioned to help meet the needs of Washington state.

President Bruce Shepard and Sherry Burkey, WWU Director 
        of Government Relations meet with Representative Larry
        Seaquist, Chair of the House Higher Education Committee

President Bruce Shepard and Sherry Burkey, WWU Director
of Government Relations meet with Representative Larry
Seaquist, Chair of the House Higher Education Committee

The House and Senate have until Sunday, April 28th to reach a budget agreement if they are to end the 2013 Legislative Session on time. If they are unable to pass a final budget out of both chambers and pass the bills necessary to implement that budget, a special session will have to be called by the Governor. On Wednesday, Governor Inslee held a press conference and laid out a list of issues he would still like to see addressed this year, adding to the speculation that a special session is highly probable. Read more about the press conference.

Western has two pieces of request legislation this year, and both are on the way to becoming law. Senate Bill 5559, allowing Western to offer the education specialist degree, has passed the Senate and the House and has been delivered to the Governor for his signature. Senate Bill 5472, allowing Western to offer the applied doctorate in Audiology, has also passed the Senate and the House. It is expected to be delivered to the Governor in the coming days.

Page Updated 06.13.2013