January 14, 2008

Cue the Theme Music Please…..

By Randy Hodgins

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend come inside, come inside…..”

 Good morning, and welcome to the 2008 legislative session which officially kicks off at noon today in Olympia.  Sixty days sessions are sprints — fast, furious and halfway over before a lot of folks have figured out where the new capitol gift shop is located (yes, there really is a new gift shop this year thanks to state Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia).  Here’s a brief look at higher education issues in Olympia for week one.

Committee hearings are beginning this very afternoon and we will jump headlong into higher education issues this afternoon when both the Senate and House Higher Education committees meet to consider reports on high demand workforce issues and the HECB draft master plan.  Tomorrow is the Governor’s State of the State address in the House chambers.  On Wednesday morning, the dearth of child care on college campuses goes center stage in the House Higher Education Committee at 8:00 a.m. and even I get some speaking parts beginning Wednesday in a public hearing on the supplemental budget before the House Appropriations Committee at 3:30 p.m.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Higher Education committee will tackle the UW North Sound site issue with a public hearing on Sen. Paull Shin’s bill which would designate Everett’s Pacific Station site as the location for the new campus at 10:00 a.m.  At 1:30 p.m. Rep. Kathy Haigh’s House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education will a public hearing on the 2008 supplemental budget for higher education.

So let’s have a final systems check.  Shoes are polished, tie is straight (for now), shirt tucked in and two pens clipped inside the coat pocket.  Time to get started and remember, it’s always more fun when you keep your eyes open and raise up your hands during the bumpy parts of the ride.

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