Last week the House of Representatives passed HB 1755—WWU’s top policy priority for the 2020 legislative session that authorizes Western to offer applied doctorate level degrees in education (Ed.Ds). The bill is now in the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee.
In other good news, legislation to reauthorize the state’s Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) is also moving through the Legislature. JCATI supports economic development and job creation in our state’s aerospace industry through collaborative research between business and academic partners. Western and other public higher education institutions receive state funds, which leverage private dollars, to conduct research projects that address aerospace industry challenges and further workforce development. This funding will sunset June 30, 2020, without reauthorizing legislation. The Senate Committee on Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Trade held a public hearing on SB 6139 last week, and this week, the companion bill, HB 2721, is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Innovation, Technology & Economic Development.