— Governor Inslee (@GovInslee) March 12, 2013
Today is Day 54 of the 105-day 2013 session of the State Legislature, putting us just past the midway point.
For most of the week, members spent their time on the floor of their respective chambers, debating and voting on bills.
The majority of the buzz, both around the Capitol and in the media, was related to a package of education bills that advanced in the State Senate.
A proposal by several State Senators to layoff several State Supreme Court Justices also made its way into the headlines.
A new Elway Poll on transportation funding is generating buzz in Olympia. The Seattle Times reports:
The poll found that 72 percent of the voters surveyed opposed a gas tax and 62 percent opposed a car tab. Those two taxes would provide most of the revenue collected under a transportation plan proposed by House Democrats.
More on the implications of the poll results:
— Chris Grygiel (@ChrisGrygiel) March 5, 2013
UW President Michael K. Young met with Governor Jay Inslee, Washington’s Top Dawg (’73) in Olympia this week. The two leaders talked about a wide range of important issues facing the state, the University of Washington and Higher Education. Chief among those was that the University of Washington is poised to play a major role in our ongoing economic recovery and growth. President Young was also in Olympia last week for meetings with state lawmakers.
Earlier this week, the Governor gave a shout out to a future member of the Husky family on Twitter:
Congrats to Micheal Bragg on being announced new dean of @uwengineering. Glad to see an aerospace engineer in that posiition.
— Governor Inslee (@GovInslee) February 26, 2013
Via the Associated Press:
A divided high court ruled 6-3 Thursday that an initiative requiring a two-thirds vote was in conflict with the state Constitution. And that lawmakers and the people of Washington would need to pass a constitutional amendment to change from a simple majority to a supermajority.
— Donna Blankinship (@dgblankinship) February 28, 2013
A New York Times blog reports that 54.1% of college students who enrolled in fall 2006 graduated within 6 years.
At the UW we’re proud that our graduation rate is above the national average. In fact, 79% of UW freshmen graduate within 6 years. That’s the highest percentage of any public university in the state!
We’re also proud that the average time Huskies spend earning their degree is 4.3 years.
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Welcome to the end of week six in the 2013 regular session.
Aside from being almost one-third of the way through the 105-day session, today (Feb. 22) has another important significance.
After today, policy bills that haven’t yet had a hearing in committee, will be singing the swan song. Sure, there are ways to resuscitate certain budget-related bills, but the curtain call for the majority of unheard bills will come today.
UW President Michael K. Young was in Olympia this week for meetings with legislative leaders in both the House and Senate.
Among other topics, the state budget and the need for reinvestment in public higher education were paramount.
The meetings come at a key time in Olympia, as this Friday (Feb. 22) is the cutoff date for hearing policy bills in committees.
Next Friday (March 1) is the cutoff for hearing bills in the House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means.
In the coming weeks, legislative members will spend more time on the floor, debating and voting on bills.
University of Washington students showcased research on topics ranging from quantum chemistry to malaria at the State Capitol last week.
Legislators and staff dropped by the event held in 211 Cherberg to learn about the wide range of research being done by UW students.
View more photos on State Relations’ Facebook page.
— UW State Relations (@UWGOV) February 15, 2013
Yesterday, Gov. Jay Inslee released a Working Washington agenda, aimed at: “revitalizing Washington’s economy, creating jobs and ensuring we have workers with the knowledge and skills to fill those jobs.”
The Governor’s agenda includes a range of proposals in STEM education, targeted tax relief & regulatory reform, aerospace training, clean energy & climate, and health care.
In terms of Higher Education, the Governor spelled out two priority areas:
- Create competitive STEM enrollment pool for baccalaureate institutions
- Fund engineering enrollments at UW, WSU