This afternoon the Senate Ways & Means Committee held a series of public hearings in a marathon session. The Senate and House face another major deadline tomorrow when all bills before the appropriation committees must have moved to their respective floors for further consideration.
Of the forty-five bills scheduled for a public hearing before Senate Ways & Means the Committee heard three higher education related bills.
The Committee held a public hearing on legislation to implement greater efficiencies for the public, baccalaureate institutions (SB 6362). The legislation would make changes to business practices resulting in greater efficiency and effectiveness for Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions. Among the changes proposed is permissive authority to prorate paychecks for faculty on nine-month appointments, to change payroll frequency from semi-monthly to biweekly and changes to existing reporting requirements. The University of Washington and Central Washington University testified on behalf of the public, baccalaureate institutions in favor of the bill.
The Committee also heard about legislation to establish an incentive funding framework for Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions (SB 6042). The Council of Presidents (COP) testified on this bill earlier in the session in the Senate Higher Education Committee citing support for performance funding and general support for the bill with the caveat that additional conversations with the institution was necessary to identify further details with regard to distribution of funds and metrics. COP echoed its earlier testimony before the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
Finally the Committee held a public hearing on legislation to require the display of branch campus information on the statewide public four-year dashboard (SB 6482).