Friday, March 11, 2011

Monday marks 10th week of session

Monday marks the start of the 10th week of the 2011 legislative session. The state revenue forecast is due on Thursday, March 17. Work on the 2011-13 budget is continuing in both houses.  The revenue forecast is expected to command a fair amount of attention relative to that budget work.

Monday, March 14, 2011
8 a.m. - House Higher Education Committee

Public hearings for several bills will be held:  SB 5463, establishing minimum standards for common student identifiers, and SSB 5664, changing the name of Lake Washington Technical College to Lake Washington Institute of Technology. 

The HECB will provide testimony in support of SSB 5484HECB to develop a biennial progress for the Spokane area Health Science Service Authority. Future reporting would be done by the HSSA’s board.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
10 a.m. - Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development
Public hearings for four bills related to higher education will be held.
 -  SHB 1089 re; instructional materials provided in a specialized format
 -  SHB 1522 regarding academic credit for prior learning
 -  SB 5868 tuition and fees for students with excess credits or prior degrees
The HECB will provide testimony in support of HB 1586, which would grant the research university branch campuses the ability to offer doctoral degrees subject to approval by the HECB.
3:30 p.m. - House Ways and Means Committee
A work session on higher education funding will be held. Those who have been invited to present include the HECB, the State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, and the Council of Presidents. The purpose of the session is to provide additional perspective to House members on the effect of budget cuts to higher education.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
8 a.m. - House Higher Education Committee
A public hearing will be held on SSB 5749, which closes enrollment in the current program and creates a substitute GET 2 program effective August 1, 2011. The bill would change the GET payout by applying a formula based on the average increase in resident undergraduate tuition at all higher education institutions weighted by the number of FTE resident undergraduate students. It would shorten the period of unit usage from 10 to six years, change the terms for citizen members of the GET governing board from indefinite to four years, and require other changes.

Other bills set for consideration are ESB 5764, creating Innovate Washington, which includes the Washington Clean Energy Partnership; SB 5516, allowing advance payments for equipment maintenance services; and 2SSB 5636, concerning the University Center of North Puget Sound.

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