House and Senate policy committees returned to their committee work with a vengeance today.
Several bills of interest to Evergreen were heard by legislative committees. None of the bills listed below were moved out of committee today.
The House Education Committee held public hearings on several bills related to improving basic education in Washington. In particular, the Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 6696. Senate Bill 6696 comprises several policy changes to K-12 to make Washington more competitive for Race to the Top dollars, including policies and structural changes in the areas of school and teacher evaluation, assessment, and preparation.
The House Higher Education Committee held public hearings on two bills of interest to Evergreen. Senate Bill 6355, a.ka. the system design bill, implements the recommendations put forth by the Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (HECB) System Design Plan work during the interim. The bill identifies a process for expanding the higher education system upon proven demand and for reaching the goals in the HECB’s Master Plan.
The Committee also heard Senate Bill 6357. SB 6357 requires The College Board in consultation with the four-year sector, workforce training and education board, private career schools, business, and labor to develop policies for awarding academic credit for learning from work and military experience, military and law enforcement training, career college training, internships and externships, and apprenticeships.
In the afternoon the House Ways & Means Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 3178. HB 3178 makes several policy changes that impact the Department of Information Services as well as state agency IT services and programs. In particular, the bill:
- Grants the Department of Information Services (DIS) authority over personal computer (PC) purchase and replacement, including development of a PC replacement policy for the state.
- Requires state agencies purchasing cellular or mobile phone service to purchase it through the state Master Contract, unless a waiver is granted by the Office of Financial Management.
Requires state agencies and the Information Services Board to develop policies regarding data storage and retention.
Restricts information technology (IT) spending by state agencies for the 2009-11 biennium.
The Council of Presidents is working with the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Carlyle, and leadership in the House to exempt higher education from the bill.
Later in the day, the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on three bills Evergreen has tracked. House Bill 2858, intitiated by the four-year, public institutions, provides institutions of higher education the authority to participate in group purchasing agreements.House Bill 2973 includes, in the definition of “resident student,” a student who resides in Washington and is on active military duty stationed in one of nine Oregon border counties. In addition, the bill adds a student who resides in Washington and is the spouse or dependent of a person who resides in Washington and is on active military duty stationed in an Oregon border county to the definition of “resident student.”
Finally, House Bill 2638 provides a specialized-format version of instructional material may not require that the student return the specialized-format version.