4/4/13 Action Alert: WA Senate Budget Falls Short for Higher Education
3/13/13: Attend a Legislator Town Hall!
GPSS lobbies on behalf of all UW graduate and professional students, both locally and nationally, with our Vice President being a full-time lobbyist in Olympia during the legislative session. Any graduate student can participate in GPSS advocacy efforts by participating in lobby days, contacting your legislators, writing letters, and researching policy. Contact Vice President Melanie Mayock (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get involved!
GPSS Legislative Committees:
- Government Relations Committee
- State Legislative Steering Committee
- Federal Legislative Steering Committee
- Fact Sheet: The Financial Squeeze for Graduate and Professional Students
- GPSS Statement for House Education Appropriations Committee, 9/25/12
- 2012 GPSS State Legislative Agenda
2012 State Legislative Session:
Pressure from graduate students helped pass two bills in 2012 that improve student life on campus and set the wheels in motion on multiple others that can be lobbied on in future years. Here are some of the bills we worked on:
SB 6121 – Requires the office of student financial assistance to provide a financial aid counseling curriculum for institutions of higher education. Passed.
HB 2313 – Requires boards of regents to provide time for public comment at meetings. Passed.
SB 6334 – Would increase student involvement in higher education governance.
SB 6447 – Would increase funding for state work-study.
HB 2532 – Would reduce the Research and Development tax credit from $2 million dollar to $400,000. Increased revenue from the closed tax loophole would go towards funding STEM degrees.
HB 2478 – Would create a higher education student auditing committee at each four-year institution in the state.
HB 2751 – Would allow a Transportation Benefit District to impose a vehicle fee of up to $40 by a majority vote of the district’s governing board with the revenue going towards public transportation.
2011 Legislative Session:
Succesfully prevented the outright suspension of what had been the last remaining state financial aid program from which graduate and professional students benefit, State Work Study.
Restored $75,000 in state funding for the child-care assistance program which provides vouchers for any child-care center in the Puget Sound area. Here is more information on child-care assistance being saved in the state budget.
2010 Legislative Session:
Succesfully lobbied for the passage of SB 6409, which directs state lottery funds to higher education.
2009 Legislative Session:
Helped pass HB 1025 which requres the disclosure of textbook information (authors, editions, ISBN, etc.) four weeks before classes start. It also requires faculty to adopt free textbooks and online materials whenever possible.