The House Higher Education Committee passed on a tuition-setting bill by Rep. Reuven Carlyle today, a first step in moving legislation that would change the funding model for higher education in the state.
Representatives from both parties voted 10-5 to pass Substitute House Bill 1795, which would give four-year colleges and universities full tuition setting authority for four years and set up a new middle class financial aid program.
“First and foremost, the legislature is faced with a crushing reality of rising tuition,” said Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat. “ It’s just a matter of can we do it with some real intelligence and fairness to students.”
The substitute bill, which Carlyle said he revised along with a working group of university students, faculty and administrators, would give public universities unlimited tuition-setting authority for four years but would require that any yearly tuition increases that go over a certain amount—9 percent for some universities and 11 percent for others—pay for financial aid for middle-income students.