State Relations

Bipartisan Proposal Introduced in State House To Reinvest in Public Higher Education

Washington State CapitolWe reported last week on a proposal by Senate Democrats to address sagging state funding for public higher educationSen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) introduced SB 5420, which would make a $225 million reinvestment in public higher education, and freeze tuition for two years.

Additional Democratic sponsors of the proposal are Senators FrocktMurrayMcAuliffeFraserRankerRolfesKlineConway, and Chase.

On Friday, a bipartisan effort emerged in the state House led by Rep. Gerry Pollett (D-Seattle) with similar aims.

According to the Seattle Times:

HB 1624 aims to move Washington toward a 50-50 split between students and the state, with students paying half the cost of their education and the state paying the rest.

The House bill would also tie tuition increases to the inflation rate.

Rep. Pollett’s bill also has the support of House Higher Education Chair Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor), and the committee’s Ranking Republican Rep. Larry Haler (R-Richland).

Additional bipartisan sponsors of the bill include Representatives  Walsh, Zeiger, GoodmanFarrellSellsUpthegroveFitzgibbonRoberts,KirbyFeyFreemanRyu, and Magendanz

Crosscut.com has more on the House and Senate reinvestment proposals.

Both bills now await hearings before their chambers’ respective Higher Education committees.