Welcome to week three of the 2013 session of the Washington State Legislature. Here is what’s happening in Olympia today…
Gov. Jay Inslee announced three new Cabinet appointments today, via KOMONews.com:
Brigadier General Bret D. Daugherty was reappointed Tuesday to his position as Adjutant General of the state’s Military Department. Daugherty serves as commander of Washington’s Army and National Guard forces and oversees the state’s Emergency Management and enhanced 911 programs.
Brian Bonlender, who had served as Inslee’s chief of staff and legislative director while Inslee was in Congress, was named as director of the Department of Commerce.
Inslee named Dorothy Frost Teeter as director of the Health Care Authority, overseeing health care services for state employees and low-income residents. Teeter, who is a senior adviser at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in Maryland, will start in March.
Yesterday, KOMO profiled newly elected State Rep. Cyrus Habib (D):
Like every freshman representative, Habib is learning his way around the Capitol, getting acquainted with the many staircases and the shortcuts. But there is a twist in his learning curve.
“I lost my eyesight to a fairly rare form of childhood cancer, so I was totally blind by the time I was 8 years old,” said Habib, the first blind legislator in Washington state for perhaps a century.
He represents the technology-driven Eastside — including Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland, where he campaigned on a platform of funding higher education and growing small business — by door-knocking, personally walking up to seven thousand homes.
Earlier today, the House Higher Education committee met for a work session on financial aid and student debt (Full Agenda, Video via TVW). The committee also held a public hearing House Bill 1043, which would limit differential tuition.
UW’s Director of State Relations testified in opposition to the bill in its current form, because it takes away a tool for expanding access for students to high-demand programs, without providing an alternative.
This afternoon, the Senate Higher Education Committee held a Work Session titled, “What industry needs from our students and higher education institutions” (Agenda, Video via TVW).
Several of the firms presenting to the committee noted their close partnerships with UW, and ongoing recruitment of its graduates. These presenters included ZymoGenetics, Philips Health Care, and Socrata.
In other State Senate news, according to the Tri-City Herald, Benton County Commissioners voted last night to appoint Kennewick Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Brown to replace Jerome Delvin in the State Senate.
Finally, Senate Democrats called a 3:30PM press conference to spotlight a new Higher Ed proposal.
Their press release follows…