State Relations

January 16, 2013

Today in Olympia: Gov. Inslee Sworn-In, Committees Begin Considering Higher Ed Agenda

At 10:42AM this morning, Gov. Jay Inslee was sworn in at the Capitol Rotunda.

Shortly after, he delivered his inaugural State of the State Address.

Speaking about education generally, the new Governor talked about the need for alignment, “from early learning to K-12 to our universities.”

More specifically in regards to Higher Education, Gov. Inslee said:

“It’s also critical for us to preserve the leading role our research institutions play in inventing the future, growing our economy, and creating jobs. While we do this, we can no longer accept the misalignment between what our schools teach, and what skills our employers need. This is something I will act on immediately, to sharpen the relationship between our schools and the economy they are preparing our young people to enter. It will be hard work, but it is required work if we want Washington to rise to the challenges the world will present us.”

Watch Gov. Inslee’s address on TVW, or read it online. Watch the Republican response, delivered by State Rep. Kevin Parker (R-Spokane).

This afternoon, the House Higher Education Committee held a Work Session on Higher Education policy priorities for 2013. On the docket in the Work Session: presentations from each of the six public four-year universities, including the UW. Watch the presentations here. UW’s Director of State Relations Margaret Shepherd gave an overview of the university’s student profile, tuition & financial aid programs, economic impacts, academic excellence, and policy priorities.

Yesterday, Shepherd testified before the House Appropriations Committee in support of a recent reinvestment proposal presented to the legislature by the Council of Presidents.

The proposal, which has received positive marks from newspaper editorial boards and widespread media coverage, would freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for two years in exchange for state reinvestment of $225 million.