February 25, 2011 Edition 7
Produced by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
In this issue
Legislative News is published weekly during legislative sessions by the staff of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, 1300 Quince Street SE, PO Box 42495, Olympia, WA 98504-2495, telephone 360-704-4310, FAX 360-704-4415.
For legislators serving on fiscal committees, the next few days will be long and busy as their executive session schedules will grow exponentially.
The bills that survived Wednesday’s first round of cut-offs to pass bills out of policy committees have until today, Friday, Feb. 25, to get passed out of fiscal committees, and until Monday, March 7, to be sent to the opposite chamber to start the whole process all over again.
Budget bills and bills considered "necessary to implement the budget" are exempt from these early cut-off deadlines.
The status of bills of significant interest to community and technical colleges is listed below. The bills are paired with their companions and their last known location is provided. Find complete bill documents at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/.
ESHB 1086 2011 Supplemental Operating Budget
Signed by Governor February 18.
HB 1087/SB 5094 (Hunter/Murray) 2011-2013 Biennial Operating Budget
1087: House Ways & Means, 5094: Senate Ways & Means
HB 1262/SB 5162 (Bailey/Murray) Higher Education Annuities & Retirement Plans
1262: House Ways & Means – Public Hearing 2/7; 5162: Senate Ways & Means – Public Hearing 1/27
Prohibits higher education employers from allowing retirees from a DRS managed retirement plan (TRS, PERS, etc.) to participate in a higher education retirement plan. Also, prospectively eliminates the Supplemental Benefit part of these plans. Limits plan participation to "academic administrators" - defined as "presidents, vice-presidents, deans and directors and heads of major administrative and academic departments who hold concurrent faculty appointment with rank."
SHB 1371 (Darneille Governor’s Request) Boards and Commissions
1371: House Ways & Means Public Hearing 2/24
Eliminates various board and commissions. This version dose not impact the Workforce Training Customer Advisory Committee. The restrictions related to travel and meetings in non-state buildings for Class 1-5 Boards are made permanent. Exceptions must be approved by the Office of Financial Management. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2011.
SHB 1394/SB 5268 (Probst/Pridemore) Enacting the College Efficiency & Savings Act
1394: House Ways & Means, 5268: Senate Rules - 2nd Reading
Exempts Class 1-5 groups affiliated with institutions of higher education from restrictions related to meetings in non-state buildings, out-of-state travel, equipment purchases, hiring, and personal service contracts. These bills contain an emergency clause and would take effect immediately upon passage and Governor’s signature.
HB 1503 (Sells) Community & Technical Colleges Collective Bargaining
1503: House Ways & Means
Bill allows trustees to provide salary increase amounts in excess of the authority or amount made available in the appropriations act. Essentially, provides "full-scope" bargaining for faculty salaries.
SHB 1568 (Sells) Students on the Board of Trustees
1568: House Ed Appropriations & Oversight -Executive Session 2/18 (Do pass – Not yet referred)
By a majority vote, each college board may establish a 6th trustee position to be held by a student. The student will be appointed by the governor and selected from a list of 3-5 students put forth by the student body. Each student will serve a one-year term from July through June. The student must be in good academic standing. In addition, the State Board shall have a 10th board member position to be held by a student and appointed by the Governor.
HB 1631 (Reykdal) Faculty Increments
1631: House Ways & Means - Public Hearing 2/24
Provides in statute for Legislative funding of increments at an amount that, when combined with turnover savings, is sufficient to pay faculty increments. State Board is required to include an amount (8/10s of a percent of the faculty salarybase) in its biennial budget request. Should the legislature not fund increments, college trustees are authorized to expend additional funds.
SHB 1792/SSB 5636 (Sells/Haugen) North Puget Sound Higher Ed
1792: House Ways & Means – Executive Session 2/24, 5636: Senate Ways & Means
SHB 1792: Direct WSU to convene a coordinating and planning council (Council) to develop a strategic plan for establishing a branch campus in Everett. The Council includes: Presidents of WSU and EvCC; a WSU Provost; Director of University Center at EvCC (Center); two reps of university partners at the Center; three community reps, one each appointed by WSU President, EvCC President, Mayor of Everett. The Council must consult with the HECB to ensure that the strategic plan is in alignment with the System Design Plan. Bill currently reads that WSU is to implement the plan by July, 2014, unless otherwise directed by the legislature. Amendatory language was requested by Representative during the hearing that would require the legislature to approve the plan before implementation begins. WSU is directed to establish at least one high demand program at the Center by December, 2012.
SSB 5636: Stops any new degree programs at, or in collaboration with, the University Center of North Puget Sound at Everett Community Colleges, as well as stopping any off-campus real estate deals or management changes at the Center - until the HECB conducts a needs assessment under the System Design Plan and makes a positive recommendation to the governor and legislature.
SHB 1795 (Carlyle) Enacting the Higher Education Opportunity Act
1795: House Ways & Means -Public Hearing 2/24
Provides tuition-setting authority for four-year colleges and universities. If tuition is raised more than 11% at UW, WSU and WWU, or more than 9% at CWU, EWU and Evergreen, the institutions must provide financial aid to students with family incomes up to 125% of median family income. Requires four-year institutions to report on various measures, including course and degree completion.
Permits the SBCTC to pilot or institute differential tuition models. The board may define scale, scope, and rationale for the models. Allows SBCTC and 4-year institutions to charge Running Start students a fee that equals ten percent of tuition and fees.
SHB 1822/SSB 5136 (Kenney/Kastama) Establishing the First Nonprofit Online University
1822: House Rules – 2nd Reading, 5136: Senate Ways & Means - Public Hearing 2/24
Recognizes a regionally accredited non-profit online institution (Western Governor’s University) as a self-supporting baccalaureate degree granting institution in Washington, which will not receive state support.
SHB 1849 (Haigh) State Education Council
1849: House Ed Appropriations & Oversight – Executive Session 2/21 (Do Pass – Not yet referred)
Creates Washington State Education Council to recommend policies, strategies and a governance structure to establish an oversight and advocacy board for P-20 and to consolidate supervision of P-20 within a primary state agency. Does not impact local authority of school boards, or boards of trustees or regents.
The Council is to create a transition plan for restructuring the duties, responsibilities and authority of: HECB, SBCTC, SBE, PESB, DEL, SPI and six other entities. A preliminary progress report is due to the governor and legislature by January, 2012. The final plan and legislation to implement it is due to the governor and legislature by December, 2012.
The Council includes 23 members. Except for the four legislative members and the SPI, all other members are appointed by the governor from lists submitted by specified organizations and associations. The 18 members appointed by the governor include: two early learning reps; one school administrator; one school director; one principal; one parent; one CTE educator; one K-12 teacher; one CTC faculty; one 4-year faculty; one classified employee; two representatives of 4-year colleges/universities (from a list submitted by COP); two representatives of CTC (from a list submitted by WACTC); one representative of private education (from a list submitted by private schools, career schools, independent colleges); one business rep, and; one representative of the Governor's Office.
SPI is temporary Chair until a Chair and Vice Chair can be selected by the Council. Council members serve without compensation or travel reimbursement. OSPI may assign no more than two 2 FTEs to staff the Council. The Council is temporary and the bill expires June 30, 2013.
SHB 1909 (Reykdal) Promoting Innovation at Community and Technical Colleges
1909: House Ways & Means
Creates the community and technical college innovation account to pay and secure the payment of the principal of and interest on financing contracts and to implement the state board for community and technical colleges' strategic technology plan.
SSB 5049 (Kline) Implementing Recommendations of the Sunshine Committee
5049: Senate Rules – 2nd Reading
Implements a variety of Sunshine Committee recommendations on public disclosure. Requires public disclosure of employment application materials for the "highest management position” (i.e., presidents) after finalists have been identified but before a hiring decision is made.
SSB 5182 (White) Establishing the Office of Student Financial Assistance by Eliminating the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) and Transferring its Functions to Various Entities
5182: Senate Ways & Means - Public Hearing 2/24
The HECB is eliminated. The Council for Performance and Accountability in Higher Education (Council) is created. Council membership includes the six four-year institution presidents, one private nonprofit president, the executive director of the SBCTC, and a community or technical college president, or their designees. The purpose of the council is to develop performance-based measures and goals for the four-year institutions, and a system of consequences for exceeding or for failing to achieve the goals.
The Council performs most functions previously assigned to the HECB, including approving new programs, mission changes, new colleges, and recognizing accreditation, and provides the interface to meet federal requirements. Other functions are reassigned to other state agencies (such as the Workforce Board).
Every four years the Council assembles a disappearing workgroup to develop a ten-year projected master plan for higher education. The workgroup consists of three representatives each from the 2- and 4-year sectors; one faculty rep each from a 2- and a 4-year school, and two student reps.
SSB 5217 (Shin) Allowing Appointment of Student Members on the Boards of Trustees of Community Colleges
5127: Senate Rules – 2nd Reading
Each Board of Trustees by a majority vote may create a sixth board position to be held by a student. The student must be full-time and in good academic standing. Candidates for the student board position will be submitted by the district’s Associated Student Governments to the Governor for selection. Terms for students will be for one-year. The student must excuse himself or herself from participation or voting on matters relating to the hiring, discipline, or tenure of faculty members and personnel, or any other matters pertaining to collective bargaining agreements.
SSB 5462 (Kilmer) Financial Aid Administration
5462: Senate Ways & Means
The SBCTC must create an efficient, streamlined, and simple financial aid process for colleges and students. The new process must include, but is not limited to, standardized application forms, eligibility criteria, deadlines, award verification, and published informational materials.
A detailed implementation plan of the new process must be approved by the SBCTC by September 2011 with full implementation of the process no later than January 2012.
SB 5474 (Murray – Governor’s Request) Higher Education Retirement Income
5474: Senate Ways and Means
Governor's proposal to bring "equity" to the state's retirement plans through bringing higher education retirement plans in line with other plans managed by DRS. Bill eliminates supplemental benefits for future participants and requires they be offered PERS 3 or TRS 3, prohibits the participation of retirees in the plans, limits use of state funds to 6% to make employer contributions and requires use of the state actuaries office to estimate liability associated with supplemental benefits.
SSB 5507 (Kilmer) Funding for Faculty Increments
5507: Senate Ways & Means
Bill requires the state board to include a request to fund faculty increments at the .8% of base salary plus benefits in the biennial budget request. This could be suspended if the Governor reduced allotments or the Legislature reduced funding (with consideration of inflation). Defines terms, restricts funds for part-time faculty to part-time faculty.
SSB 5639 (McAuliffe - Governor’s Request) Education Governance System
5639: Senate Ways & Means - Public Hearing 2/22
The Department of Education (DOE) is created as an executive branch agency to focus on P-12 education policy development and promoting student achievement. The SPI remains a separately elected official. The head of the DOE is the Secretary of Education who is appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. A P-12 Education Council is created to advise the Secretary.
The Department of Early Learning, State Board of Education, and Professional Educators Standards Board are abolished and their powers, duties, and employees are transferred to the DOE. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Higher Education Coordinating Board were removed from the bill.
A governor-appointed transition team must complete a transition plan by January 1, 2012, to phase-in the DOE. Phase-in begins by July 1, 2012, and must be completed by January 16, 2013. Once the transition is completed, the Governor is encouraged to assemble a transition team to consider, and if appropriate, coordinate the inclusion of state-level higher education agencies into the DOE.
SB 5664 (McAuliffe) Lake Washington Institute
5664: Senate Rules – 2nd Reading
Expands mission of Lake Washington Technical College (LWTC) to include technical education programs, including Baccalaureate degree programs. LWTC is hereafter known as Lake Washington Institute of Technology.
HB 1816 (Anderson) Funding and Operating Practices of the State Higher Education System
Addresses broad funding and operating practices of the state higher education system, including tuition, state funding, and the elimination of many financial aid programs. The bill creates the Washington higher education internship program, and the HELP investment fund within the state investment board's portfolio of investment pools.
The bill abolishes the workforce training and education coordinating board and transfers its powers, duties, and functions to the state board for community and technical colleges. The bill also transfers higher education coordinating board data collection functions to the legislative evaluation and accountability program (LEAP).
SB 5107 (Benton) Creation of a Four Year College Board of Regents/Elimination of the Council of Presidents
Abolishes governing boards of each of the public four-year colleges and universities. Creates the "Washington state college and university system" governed by a 19 member board of regents that would have full control of the public four-year system and money. Members would be appointed by the governor and would include two regents from each of the nine congressional districts. The system would be allowed only one FTE to perform government relations functions and abolishes the Council of Presidents. The bill includes a host of additional duties of the new board specific to WSU.
SB 5287 (Hobbs) Creating an Independent Four-Year Polytechnical College
Creates a higher education investment district which may propose to the voters of the district a sales and use tax to support acquisition, construction, maintenance and operations of “Snohomish Polytechnical College.”
SB 5774 (Hargrove) Consolidating Cascadia Community College & Lake Washington Technical College
Cascadia Community College shall be consolidated with Lake Washington Technical College. All Cascadia Community College real property located in Bothell shall be owned and occupied by the University of Washington. All students enrolled in Cascadia Community College shall be considered enrolled in Lake Washington Technical College and all credits earned before July 1, 2012, shall be honored at Lake Washington Technical College.
All governance and administrative functions and offices of Cascadia Community College shall be consolidated, without duplication, with the governance and administrative functions and offices of Lake Washington Technical College.
Substitute House Bill 1792 was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.
The bill prime sponsored by Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett, requires WSU to offer at least one high employer-demand degree program at the EvCC University Center by December 1, 2012. Other important aspects of the bill include:
Ray Stephanson, Everett Mayor, said Everett seeks a research university partnership to serve critical needs in its aerospace-based economy.
Chris Mulick, Washington State University director of state relations, said WSU is at the table because it was invited and said WSU would model the hyper-efficient and self-sustaining engineering program they created at Olympic College.
David Beyer, Everett Community College president, expressed appreciation for the substitute bill language, saying, “We look forward to being active participants on the planning council.”
Christine Kerlin, EvCC University Center and strategic planning vice president, spoke in support of the bill’s collaborative planning process and the inclusion of the University Center leadership. She said the Center has delivered on the plan set forth by the Legislature in 2006, operating on a shoestring budget.
Charlie Earl, SBCTC executive director, spoke in support of the planning process and expressed appreciation that concerns were heard in the policy committee. “We hope the bill will be amended so the results of that plan are required to come back to the Legislature for review,” he said.
Sherry Burkey, Western Washington University associate vice president for university relations and director of legislative relations, said WWU is the largest provider of degree programs at the center with about 400 students. “We believe the University Center model is working,” she said. “We think WSU’s plan to develop a branch campus should come back for approval.”
Margaret Shepherd, University of Washington director of state relations, asked that in addition to the plan being presented, that a budget be developed and that the plan and budget be presented to the legislature for consideration.
Marsha Riddle Buly, Western Washington University faculty legislative representative, expressed concern about the WSU proposal potentially interfering with the current programs which are working collaboratively, and said WSU would be a welcome partner at the Center.
The substitute version of the Governor’s proposed state-level education governance system was heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday. Among other things, Substitute Senate Bill 5639 was amended to remove the community and technical colleges from the bill language.
SSB 5639 creates the Department of Education as an executive branch agency and creates the P-12 education council to advise the secretary of the department on broad policy issues affecting the state's education system.
Substitute Senate Bill 5136, prime sponsored by Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup, would establish the first nonprofit online university in the state
The bill was heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. If enacted, the recommended substitute would:
Tom Caswell, SBCTC open education program manager, spoke in strong support of the bill. “Their flat-rate tuition offers an affordable path for our transfer students who need to balance work, life and school,” he said. “We are already working with them and intrigued with their use of technology to deliver education to underserved students at no cost to taxpayers.”
The rest of the panel of university and student representatives spoke in opposition, expressing concern about the fiscal impact on the State Need Grant funds; requesting the Legislature to slow down and turn the bill into a study to make a more considered decision.
Senate Bill 5795 regarding higher education child care grants was heard in Senate Ways and Means on Wednesday.
Prime sponsor Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said students brought her the bill, and identified a funding source. She said it is a great idea to help working parent students.
If enacted, $250,000 of unclaimed Washington State Lottery prize money would be deposited into the four-year Student Child Care in Higher Education Account, to provide matching grants to the colleges for fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Kayeri Akweks, SBCTC policy associate, spoke in strong support of the bill contingent on amending the bill to include the community and technical colleges. “The administrative framework for these programs for two-year colleges is already in place to provide matching grants,” she said.
Akweks said students are willing to match these grants with their S&A fees and explained how colleges leverage the funds with community resources to stretch the dollars even further.
She shared portions of two letters of support from the child care centers at Edmonds Community College and Clark College, explaining how far a small grant of $10,000 can go to provide child care for infants, toddlers and children.
A panel spoke in support, noting that the funds will mitigate the third largest barrier to students completing a college education: child care expenses. Given the current emphasis on degree completion, they said this program is a good investment to help student parents obtain degrees. The panel included Ben Henry, University of Washington student senate; Shiboney Dumo, University of Washington Student Parent Organization president; and Mike Merz, Central Washington University legislative liaison; and Steven Lindstrom, Washington Student Association.
On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 1371, a Governor-requested bill sponsored by Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma.
If enacted, HB 1371 would make permanent the current restrictions on per diem allowances, travel, and use of private facilities for meetings.
Members of certain boards, commissions, councils, or committees would not receive allowances for subsistence, lodging, and travel if these costs are funded by the State General Fund. Exceptions must be approved by the Office of Financial Management.
Boards are directed to conduct meetings that do not require members to travel and to use state facilities for meetings that require members to be physically present. The Director of the OFM must approve meetings in private facilities.
A panel of speakers expressed concerns about important board voices not being heard due to lack of a personal budget for travel, as well as the inability to hold meetings in private facilities, even when those spaces are offered at no charge to the state.
On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 1981 which addresses public employee postretirement employment and higher education employees' annuities and retirement income plans.
The bill combines language from HB 1083, HB 1262, and the Governor’s retirement plan reform proposal. Over time, the bill would have the effect of increasing the number of PERS employees while reducing those on TIAA-CREF.
Prime sponsored by Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, if enacted HB 1981 would:
While those testifying spoke in support of closing the retire-rehire loophole, they expressed concerns with the rest of the bill.
John Boesenberg, SBCTC director of human resources, testified with significant concerns.
“The six percent retirement match limit causes concern, because it’s a budget cut,” he said. “Our legal counsel tells us we are obligated to continue to provide the full match, even without the funds. Colleges would be expected to make up the difference out of tuition or other revenues. But it creates an impossible situation for the State Board office itself, because we don’t have access to tuition funds and have no other funds to access.”
He also expressed concern about the limited definition of senior academic administrator, explaining that advisors, librarians, researchers, financial aid administrators, and others with professional careers in higher education expect a familiar higher education retirement option, like TIAA-CREF.
Randy Parr, Washington Education Association, said, “It’s a ‘kitchen sink’ bill,” with elements important enough to merit individual consideration. Ann Anderson, Central Washington University director of governmental relations, spoke on behalf of the Council of Presidents representing the six baccalaureate institutions, which supports the bill, but with some concerns. Marsha Riddle Buly, Western Washington University faculty, expressed concerns.
On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on House Bill 1631.
Prime sponsored by Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Olympia, HB 1631 directs the SBCTC to include funding to cover academic employee salary increments in its biennial budget request. The bill:
John Boesenberg, SBCTC director of human resources, said, “Let me be clear. We want to support this bill. We encourage faculty professional development and advancement. We have concerns about providing for local bargaining of salary using tuition, because tuition is not a stable source of funding.”
“Our institutions have widely varying ability to collect tuition, ranging from 11 to 36 percent of their total revenue,” he explained. “This bill will cause further salary disparities between the ‘have’ and ‘have-not’ colleges.”
Speaking in favor were Karen Strickland, AFT Seattle, and Wendy Rader-Konofalski, Washington Education Association.
Substitute Senate Bill 5182, prime sponsored by Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle, establishes the Office of Student Financial Assistance by eliminating the Higher Education Coordinating Board and transferring its functions to various entities.
The effect of key changes for the recommended substitute were made by Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee last week and heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.
The substitute bill states:
Speaking in support were Julie Garver, The Evergreen State College, and Ann Anderson, representing Central Washington University and other colleges.
Legislative News is published weekly during legislative sessions by the staff
of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges,
1300 Quince Street SE, PO Box 42495, Olympia, WA 98504-2495, phone 360-704-4310, fax 360-704-4415. Editors: Janelle Runyon, Sherry Nelson