Office of Government Relations

January 29, 2023

Week 2 & 3 Recap

Good morning Huskies! Today, I am writing to you from the Washington Student Association office in Olympia. The office is located in the Davis-Williams building which houses a number of labor unions including the Washington State Labor Council. I, unfortunately, do not know the history of the building as to who it is named after, nor can I find anything on the internet. The WSU student lobbyists are in the midst of preparing for their lobby day tomorrow and I’m in the midst of preparing for the upcoming week. We have seen a lot of movement on our legislative priorities, so let’s get to it:

Week 2 Overview

Days 1 and 2 of this week consisted pretty much entirely of meetings. This includes our weekly OGR staff meeting on day 1.

Day 3 was a bit more exciting, consisting of both a Senate Higher Ed. Committee and House Postsecondary Education Committee. During the Senate Higher Ed. meeting, there were a few bills that had a public hearing, notably SB 5329 which addresses fee discrepancies between main and satellite campuses. This does not necessarily apply the UW or our students, but was an interesting bill. We also saw both SB 5079, which establishes a certain date when tuition for the following academic year must be set, and SB 5048, which eliminates college in the high school fees, be voted out of the Higher Ed. Committee. SB 5079 was actually passed out of the Senate Rules Committee during week 3 and placed on the Senate 2nd readings calendar. This means that the entire Senate will be voting on whether or not to send it to the opposite chamber (the House) for their actions. SB 5048 has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee but has yet to be scheduled for a public hearing. In the House Postsecondary Education Committee, there were a few bills in executive session, notably HB 1156 which extends how long a student is eligible to receive the Washington College Grant. This bill has been moved to the House Appropriations Committee. I also participated in various meetings throughout the day.

Day 4 was less exciting than day 3, which consisted again, entirely of various meetings.

Day 5 returned some excitement to the week. It consisted of both the House and Senate respective higher ed. committees. During the House Postsecondary Education Committee, there was executive action taken on a few different pieces of legislation. The Senate Higher Ed. Committee consisted of a work session on the need and feasibility or providing free college. The rest of the day consisted of various meetings

Over the weekend, I joined the WSA Board of Directors meeting and was able to link up with ASUW President, Tim Billing. At the BoD meeting, I had the chance to share what I and other student lobbyists are working on in Olympia.

Week 3 Overview

Day 1 of week 3 again consisted of entirely of meetings with internal and external partners, including the ASUW OGR staff meeting.

Day 2 began with various meetings with internal and external partners in our lobbying efforts. I also attended the House Postsecondary Education Committee which heard a few bills in a public hearing. One of which was HB 1232 which would enhance the College Bound Scholarship program.

Day 3 was a bit more exciting with both the House and Senate higher ed. committees. The Senate Higher Education Committee had a handful of bills in public hearings. The House Postsecondary Education Committee also consisted of a handful of bills in public hearings. I also joined a handful of internal and external partner meetings.

Day 4 saw me join the early morning meeting of the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee. There were quite a few bills which experienced executive action during this meeting, including HB 1002, which increases and strengthens penalties for hazing. The rest of my day consisted of internal and external meetings with partners regarding our legislative priorities. This included a report I gave at the weekly ASUW Board of Directors meeting.

Day 5 was quite an exciting day. The House Postsecondary Education Committee held a work session on the funding structure on public postsecondary education institutions and a public hearing on one of ASUW’s priorities, HB 1399, the Native American Scholarship Program. I joined students from WWU, WSU, and the broader WSA in supporting this program. You can view my testimony linked on the page and it will be embedded shortly.