Yesterday the Washington State Legislature wrapped-up the 60-day, 2020 legislative session in Olympia.
Highlights of the session for WWU include:
- $886,000 per year to reduce tuition rates for Western on the Peninsulas degree programs that are currently above state-funded resident undergraduate tuition rates;
- $215,000 per year for WWU to begin offering courses in American Sign Language (ASL), deaf studies and deaf education;
- Passage of SB 6492 – legislation that will ensure the solvency of the State’s newly-established dedicated fund for higher education investments;
- Passage of HB 1755 – legislation authorizing WWU (as well as CWU and EWU) to offer applied doctorate degrees in education, also known as “EdDs” (pending gubernatorial approval); and
- Passage of SB 6139—legislation reauthorizing the State’s Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) program, which provides grant funding to WWU, along with UW and WSU, to partner on research initiatives with businesses in the regional aerospace industry (pending gubernatorial approval).
The WWU Office of Government Relations will release a final 2020 session report in the coming weeks that will include a complete list of enacted legislation with impact to WWU. The 105-day 2021 Legislative Session is scheduled to begin on January 11, 2021.