The Legislature finished the 2014 session and adjourned Sine Die a few minutes before midnight on Thursday, March 13. Legislators agreed to a final supplemental operating budget, but failed to reach agreement on a capital budget before session concluded.
In addition to budget work, legislators confirmed a number of Board members and trustees, and reached final agreement on several bills impacting higher education and students across the state.
Now that session has concluded, legislators return to their local communities and begin interim work, election preparation, and other planning leading up to the 2015 legislative session.
The final budget bill, ESSB 6002, passed the full Legislature last week and includes the following for community and technical colleges (CTCs):
· The final supplemental operating budget represents a 1.8 percent decrease in the CTC system biennial budget for 2015-17.
o The legislative enrollment target was increased by 690 for a final target of 139,927 (an increase equal to the 1,000 additional aerospace FTEs provided in November 2014, less the 310 FTEs impacted by the transfer of the University Center from Everett Community College to Washington State University).
o Tuition levels were frozen for FY 2015 at current level.
o Requires an audit through a third party to examine local accounts used to track and use tuition and local fees by four year institutions and two community or technical colleges (one with an applied baccalaureate degree program and one without).
· Policy items
o Year Up Pilot Project: $350,000
o MESA: $410,000
o Paraeducator development (SSB 6129): $181,000
· Financial aid
o College Bound: $12.3 million
o Opportunity Scholarship $25.5 million
o State Need Grant Funding: no changes (budget assumes the $5.0 million increase contained in the Real Hope Act, SB 6523)
· LEAN reduction
o $40 million statewide reduction
o Assuming the reduction is prorated by share of General Fund state appropriations, the CTC share is estimated to be $3.1 million.
State Board, trustees confirmed by the Senate
The Senate Higher Education Committee held a number of confirmation hearings for members of the State Board and college trustees. CTC confirmations during the 2014 session include:
· Jay Reich, Seattle
· Elizabeth Chen, Federal Way
Trustees confirmed during their first term include:
· Lisa Woo, Bellingham Technical College;
· Steven Hill, Seattle Colleges;
· J. Tayloe Washburn, Catherine D’Ambrosio, and Thomas Lux, Shoreline Community College;
· Rekah Strong, Clark College;
· Bill Gordon, Columbia Basin College;
· Anne Hamilton, Lake Washington Institute of Technology;
· Lillian Hunter, Bates Technical College;
· John Jessop and Carl Zapora, Edmonds Community College;
· George Raiter, Lower Columbia College;
· Fiasili (Sili) Savusa, Highline Community College;
· Brett Willis, Pierce College District; and
· Mike Wilson, Community Colleges of Spokane.
Other trustees reappointed and confirmed include:
· Debbie Ahl, Bellingham Technical College;
· Jack Burkman, Clark College;
· Thomas Campbell, Green River Community College;
· Alberta (Barbara) Clarkson, South Puget Sound Community College;
· Betty Cobbs, Everett Community College;
· Carmen Gayton, Seattle Colleges;
· Heidi Heywood, Lower Columbia College;
· Mary Moss, Clover Park Technical College;
· Robert Ozuna, Yakima Valley Community College;
· Philip Rasmussen, Wenatchee Valley College;
· Erik Rohrer, Peninsula College;
· Roland Schirman, Walla Walla Community College;
· Joanne Schwartz, Centralia College; and
· Stephen Warner, Olympic College.
State Board staff tracked nearly 300 bills this session with potential impact to the CTC system. The following bills of significance were passed and delivered to the Governor:
· EHB 2108: creates an alternate path to licensure for hearing aid specialists and requires the Department of Health submit a report to the Legislature regarding hearing aid fitter/dispenser internships, in consultation with CTCs.
· HB 2398: permitting community colleges that offer applied baccalaureate degrees to offer honorary bachelor of applied science degrees.
· SHB 2613: creating efficiencies for institutions of higher education.
· ESHB 2626: acknowledging the WA Student Achievement Council’s Ten-Year Roadmap goals.
· SB 5318: waiving the one-year waiting period for veterans paying in-state tuition.
· SSB 5969: awarding academic credit for prior military training.
· SSB 6129: creating articulated pathways for paraeducators.
· SB 6523: the Real Hope/Dream Act, allowing undocumented students to be eligible for the State Need Grant.
· SCR 8409: Adopting the Workforce Board’s High Skills, High Wages Plan.
Legislative News will be published as legislative activities and events impacting community and technical colleges occur throughout interim. For additional information or resources, please visit SBCTC Government Relations.