A little more than halfway through the legislative session, we are now past the point where new bills can be introduced other than those necessary for a budget. This is a time where the Senate is hearing bills passed by the House, and the House those passed by the Senate.
Meanwhile, everyone is waiting for the state’s March 20 revenue forecast, which will be used by legislators to shape their budget proposals. The legislature then has until the end of session April 23 to finalize a budget for the state, which will include funding for Evergreen.
Companion bills HB 1291 and SB 5238 that allow Evergreen student employees and those at regional universities to collectively bargain like their counterparts at the University of Washington and Washington State University remain viable. Evergreen supports this legislation.
A bill which gave the Department of Corrections more concrete guidance around prison education did not make it out of the House. The bill was not necessary for Evergreen’s expanding work to assist incarcerated students in achieving their four-year degrees. We continue to engage with legislators from all parts of the political spectrum to educate about and advocate for Evergreen. Evergreen President John Carmichael, Executive Vice President Dexter Gordon and Director of Government Relations Sandy Kaiser attended the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast March 10, connecting with policymakers at one of the most bipartisan annual events on the legislative calendar.
Evergreen’s 2023-2025 budget and growing enrollment were main topics of discussion in a March 10 meeting with Rep. Steve Bergquist (D-Renton), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee.
Evergreen staff and students will be appearing to brief and testify on student fees and wrestling programs in coming days, as we await news on our next budget.