2018 Legislative Session – Summary
Supplemental Operating Budget
State Need Grant: $18.5 million will be provided in Fiscal Year 2019 to reduce the State Need Grant waiting list by one quarter (app. 4,600 students). The Legislature intends to fully fund the state need grant (116.1 million dollars) to fully eliminate the State Need Grant waiting list (app 20,000 students)
Higher Education Legislation
Decouple Service and Activities Fees from Tuition:
HB 1433 (Stambaugh) makes changes to the RCW to permanently decouple service and activities fees from tuition, and limits any S/A fee increase to 4%. S/A fees pay for a variety of student services such as ASUW, mental health, student parent resource center, ethnic cultural center, Q center, student newspaper, disability center, rec sports.
Enact the Student Loan Bill of Rights:
SB 6029 (Liias) regulates student loan services, establishes a student loan advocate, and commissions a state study on refinancing student loans through the state. Prevents predatory loan practices on students.
HB 1169 (Orwall) prevents professional license suspension (medical, engineering, law, etc) upon student loan default. Also prevents wage garnishment for individuals who make below a certain threshold.
Establish Open Educational Resources:
HB 1561 (Frame) establishes an Open Educational Resources pilot program for public four year institutions. Commissions a grant to study the cost of educational materials/textbooks on students, and how OER could alleviate these burdens.
Support Undocumented Students:
HB 1488 (Hansen) allows DACA students or “Dreamers” to be eligible for the College Bound Scholarship Program.
Promote Mental Health Resources and Wellness on Campus:
SB 6514 (Brown) develops a statewide resource on behavioral health and suicide prevention for higher educational institutions. This resource will create trainings and other materials for campus to improve mental health. Particularly focuses on student veteran behavioral health and suicide prevention.