Zeiger’s higher education reforms pass the House

Two higher education bills sponsored by Rep. Hans Zeiger received unanimous support before the House of Representatives yesterday. Zeiger introduced the measures to make common-sense updates to current higher education statutes.

House Bill 2259 would eliminate certain higher education reporting requirements that duplicate federal reporting requirements.

House Bill 2313 would require Washington’s college and university boards of trustees and regents follow procedures for open public meetings. The bill would ensure that higher education boards allow time for public comment at their meetings.

“I am pleased to have strong bipartisan support for these measures,” said Zeiger, R-Puyallup. “They are common sense measures that will add efficiency and transparency to our higher education system.”

Zeiger stated that House Bill 2259 points to a larger problem: an abundance of reporting requirements that are costly and may not achieve the Legislature’s original intent when they were mandated over the years, specifically campus safety reporting requirements.

“There is no reason why our colleges and universities need to fill out the same report twice in two formats,” Zeiger said.

Zeiger introduced House Bill 2313 this year to ensure higher education institutions are in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

“Last year, the Legislature gave local tuition-setting authority to the board of regents and trustees at our universities. With that authority, it is very important that meetings are more transparent and accessible for students, parents, faculty and anyone else interested in our higher education system,” Zeiger said.

Both bills are headed to the Senate for public hearings and further consideration.

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CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, public information officer, (360) 786-7794