Governor Gregoire signed a slew of higher education bills today, Friday, March 30th. Bill sponsors Representative Larry Seaquist, Representative Larry Springer, Representative Hans Zeiger and Senator David Frockt joined Governor Gregoire and representatives of the higher education institutions for the bill signing ceremony.
In total, Governor Gregoire signed 4 pieces of legislation that affect Evergreen. They are:
Substitute House Bill No. 2259 - Relating to higher education reporting requirements.
- House Bill 2259 was sponsored by Representative Hans Zeiger in the House. It specifically eliminates a duplicative crime statistics report our institution has been required to report at both the state and federal levels. This one change will ease increased workload on staff, allowing them to focus on the day-to-day duties required to ensure Evergreen is running as efficiently as possible.
Substitute House Bill No. 2313 - Relating to meeting procedures of the boards of trustees and boards of regents of institutions of higher education.
- House Bill 2313 was sponsored by Representative Hans Zeiger in the House. It requires governing boards of higher education institutions to provide time for public comment at meetings and requires governing boards of four-year institutions of higher education to make public their proposals for tuition and fee increases 21 days before considering adoption, and also to allow opportunity for public comment.
Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill No. 2483 - Relating to higher education coordination.
- House Bill 2483 was sponsored by Representative Larry Seaquist in the House and Senator’s Derek Kilmer and Randi Becker in the Senate. It creates the Student Achievement Council (SAC) which will replace the Higher Education Coordinating Board on July 1. Among its various functions, SAC will make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature related to educational attainment and work with various education stakeholders, including, the Office of Superintendant of Public Instruction, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, the Workforce Board, the public baccalaureate institutions and the independent schools and colleges to further higher education in Washington. The SAC will be required to produce a 10-year strategic plan for higher education, submit recommendations on budget priorities that support the 10-year plan and oversee the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Third Substitute House Bill No. 2585 - Relating to creating efficiencies for institutions of higher education.
- House Bill 2585 was sponsored by Representative Larry Springer in the House and Senator Rodney Tom in the Senate. It provides for increased flexibility and reduction in procedural steps in purchasing and competitive bidding for purchases of $100,000 or less, advanced payments for equipment maintenance, travel arrangements, and more direct negotiation authority on purchasing.
House Bill’s 2259 and 2585 are two pieces of legislation the public baccalaureate’s worked specifically hard on during the regular legislative session. A part of a package of “efficiencies’ legislation,” these two bills were an effort to streamline business practices within our institutions. According to Evergreen President Les Purce, “Our support for these bills is entirely consistent with our continuing efforts at increasing efficiency and providing value in higher education for Washington, we applaud the efforts of the legislature to provide our institution with greater flexibility in difficult economic times and look forward to moving forward.”