The views expressed by individual members are not necessarily those of the entire caucus.
Senate Majority leader Mark Schoesler recaps the news coverage of an historic session:
‘Historic’ tuition cut sets state apart from rest of U.S.
Seattle Times, June 13, 2015
Washington’s move isn’t well-known elsewhere in the country, but some say it could spur other states to think about cuts.
“I don’t know how widely known this proposal was,” said Dustin Weeden, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “If Washington gets lots of headlines, I really think a lot of people are going to be asking: ‘What’s going on in Washington? Why are they doing that?’ ”
Washington State Moves To Cut Public University Tuition By Up To 20 Percent
“A decision this week to cut tuition for Washington state’s public universities by 15 to 20 percent over the next two years is a rare move that national experts believe could influence other states as they come out from under the recession. … The tuition cut was a Republican legislative priority this year that [Senate Ways and Means Chairman Andy] Hill said has been wildly popular.”
World Editorial Board | Yes, a tuition cut
Wenatchee World, July 5, 2015
It is an astounding, attention-getting move. No other state has had the courage to try it. It is a pay hike for the middle class, future debt relief for students and a significant boost for accessibility to higher education.
Legislature OKs new budget with rare tuition cuts and pay raises for teachers
Seattle Times, June 29, 2015
No other state has cut tuition for its public universities and colleges for the coming academic year, according to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
World Editorial Board | A state budget worth the wait
“The Washington Legislature at long last passed and the governor signed a two-year operating budget. It is a budget with strong bipartisan support, hailed by leaders of both parties, praised in House, Senate and governor’s office, described as one of the most innovative and satisfying budgets in memory. It almost could be forgotten that the budget deal came only after an excruciating six months of stalemate, maneuver and special sessions.”
GOP tuition cuts a breath of fresh political air
We’re now the laboratory for two social experiments: the $15 minimum wage, and big cuts to college tuition. What’s unique is they come from opposite sides of the political spectrum.
That it was Republicans who just scored what is believed to be the biggest college tuition cut in state history is a startling development.
“Over the years the state’s colleges had been defunded by the Democrats. It was part of a strategy called “high-tuition, high financial aid.” The colleges could increase tuition, while the cash-strapped state would focus on financial aid for needier students instead of giving a rich subsidy to everyone. …It was surprisingly the Republicans who launched a drive to reverse this privatization trend. In particular it was Baumgartner and Oak Harbor Sen. Barbara Bailey, joined later by freshman senator John Braun of Centralia.”
Editorial: Lower tuition boon to access higher education
“The decision by the Legislature to slash tuition at public universities by 15 to 20 percent was a bold and prudent move that puts public higher education on the right path.”
Ron Judd, Columnist
Seattle Times, July 3, 2015:
The Legislature’s slashing of tuition at public universities is one of the few things state government has gotten right in the past decade. Kudos to the GOP legislators who made it happen.
The forever session: In which Republicans are winning
“Credit Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville. Under his leadership; the 26-member caucus displayed a rigid discipline and it paid off as its factions of conservatives and moderates can claim an important political victory or three this session.
“They beat down a capital gains tax and beat back a low-carbon fuel standard. They warded off cap-and-trade and minimum wage. They approved a gas tax hike — more than once — and many of their members are smiling about it. And the nation knows Senate Republicans drafted the unprecedented cut in tuition for students at public colleges and universities.
“It’s hard to see how it could have turned out much better for them.”
World Editorial Board | Yes, a tuition cut
“It is an astounding, attention-getting move. No other state has had the courage to try it. It is a pay hike for the middle class, future debt relief for students and a significant boost for accessibility to higher education. The Washington Legislature has voted to cut tuition at public universities by 15-20 percent by 2016. Community college tuition will be cut 5 percent.”
Students say why they support the Senate Majority’s plan to reduce tuition.