March 7, 2007

Recap of Committee Cut-off

By Randy Hodgins

Monday was the deadline for Senate and House fiscal committees to move bills from their chamber of origin which are not deemed “necessary to implement the budget.”  This means that many of the bills we have been tracking as a University are now considered “dead” for the 2007 legislative session.

To see which bills have survived the cut-off, check out the Bills of Significant Interest link in the Spotlight section.  I have recently updated the status of each piece of legislation along with any revised UW positions on the bills. 

While I don’t have time to go through a complete list of all the bills that didn’t make it out of committee, I will try and highlight some of the more important bills we have been tracking that are no longer viable.

SB 5514 and HB 1875 would have included the UW and other four year schools in a detailed study of compensation and personnel practices tied to the long-standing problems of part-time community and technical college faculty.  These bills did not pass out of their respective policy committees.  Much of the substance of SB 5514 was included in SB 5020 which did pass out of the Senate Labor, Commerce and Research Committee but died Monday in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

SB 5322 which would have required OFM to identify sites and develop programs for a new four year university in Snohomish-Island-Skagit county died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  Sen. Jean Berkey, the prime sponsor of the measure has indicated she will try to secure the funding that was included in this bill in the Senate budget which will be unveiled at the end of March.

SB 5013 which would have imposed a limit on all tuition increases of no more than 5.5% died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  A bill to establish the Washington Institute of Technology by combining branch campuses in Vancouver, Bothell and Tri-Cities died in the House Higher Education Committee.  Bills to establish preferences for veteran-owned businesses in state contracting did not pass by the established deadlines.

Finally, a bill which would have transferred responsibility for the Wellington Hills property to the Department of General Administration for the purpose of selling the land died in the House Capital Budget Committee.

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