Good morning. Today is Thursday, the 53rd day and midpoint of the 105-day session.
The House spent the day on education-related proposals, including House Bill 1586, which would allow branch campuses of the University of Washington and Washington State University to offer doctoral degrees.
If the measure becomes law, university representatives said, branch campuses in Washington likely will begin offering doctor of education degrees for school and college administrators and medical professionals who want to teach at community colleges.
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The House also passed House Bill 1522, which would require state agencies and higher-education institutions to work together to increase the number of students who get college credit for prior learning, and House Bill 1163, which would set up a work group to prevent bullying in schools.
The Senate passed Substitute Senate Bill 5025, which would prevent a court from awarding penalties to a prison inmate from an agency that failed to fulfill a public-records request, unless the court determines that the agency acted in bad faith.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. James Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, said the measure was necessary because some prisoners had developed the habit of requesting more documents than agencies could process.
The Senate also passed Senate Bill 5417, which would allow legislators to produce printed materials using public resources if the materials were used to give constituents information about how to contact their legislator or participate in government. They could not be used for campaign purposes.
The Senate also approved Senate Bill 5154, which would increase the penalties for vehicle prowling, and Senate Bill 5011, which would allow courts to impose harsher sentences for defendants who are found to have victimized a homeless person.
The House and Senate are both scheduled for floor session most of the day, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Senate and 10 a.m. in the House.
The Washington Federation of State Employees is set to hold a rally on the north Capitol steps beginning at 11 a.m.