State Relations

Session Begins!

Today is January 8 and the first day of the 2007 legislative session.  On a personal note, this is my 20th legislative session, fourth with the UW.  It’s really my 24th session if you count my four and a half years in the state of California.

Every year on the first day of session, I’m always reminded of the words to Karn Evil 9 First Impression Part 2 by Emerson, Lake and Palmer: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend come inside, come inside …..

There is a “carnival like” atmosphere to the first few days of session as both members and staff wander around searching above and around the heads of staffers, reporters and lobbyists looking for offices, committee rooms and yes, for many freshman legislators, the bathrooms.

House and Senate higher education committee hearings this week will focus on broad agendas and goals for various organizations such as the Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Council of Presidents, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, etc.

The House and Senate fiscal committees will both hear presentations on the Governor’s 2007-09 proposed operating budget and the House Appropriations committee will delve into detail on Washington Learns recommendations contained in the Governor’s budget in hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

The new House Appropriations Subcomittee on Education will hold three hearings this week on early learning.

Governor Gregoire will deliver her State of the State address tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.  You can expect to hear a very strong emphasis on education in her remarks.

Yes session has begun, and it’s a session that holds great promise for all of us in higher education.  As the song says “Come and see the show!”