SHB 2543

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Amended by the Senate

Title: An act relating to ensuring eligible veterans and their dependents qualify for in-state residency.

Brief Description: Ensuring eligible veterans and their dependents qualify for in-state residency.

Sponsors: House Committee on College & Workforce Development (originally sponsored by Representatives Paul, Dufault, Kilduff, Leavitt, Peterson, Graham, Smith, Davis, Volz and Ormsby).

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

College & Workforce Development: 1/22/20, 1/29/20 [DPS].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 2/13/20, 98-0.

Senate Amended.

Passed Senate: 3/6/20, 49-0.

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Provides in-state residency to students on terminal, separation, or transition leave pending separation or release from active duty from the uniformed services who have veteran education benefits.

  • Provides in-state residency to students who are the spouse or child of an individual who has separated from the uniformed services with at least 10 years of honorable service, if the student enrolls in a higher education institution in Washington within three years of the service member's date of separation.

  • Expands in-state residency to students who are eligible for transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 17 members: Representatives Hansen, Chair; Entenman, Vice Chair; Leavitt, Vice Chair; Van Werven, Ranking Minority Member; Gildon, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Graham, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Kraft, Mead, Paul, Pollet, Ramos, Rude, Sells, Slatter, Sutherland and Young.

Staff: Megan Mulvihill (786-7304).


Public higher education institutions use state residency to determine whether a student will be required to pay in-state or out-of-state tuition. Residency typically requires that a financially independent student establish a Washington domicile for one year before the first day of registration for a purpose other than educational. However, residency is also granted to other categories of students, including active duty military or National Guard members and their spouses and dependents who meet certain requirements. For example, this includes students:

Summary of Substitute Bill:

Eligibility for in-state residency is expanded to the following categories of individuals:


The Senate amendment made two changes. It merged the contents of Substitute House Bill 2185 into Substitute House Bill 2543, which has the following effect:

In addition, the Senate amendment establishes residency for a student who has separated from the uniformed services who was discharged due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available. New fiscal note requested on February 28, 2020.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) This allows veterans to qualify for in-state residency after getting out of the service. When a military member enrolls in the service, they often do not transfer their residency from their home state. Then when the military member gets out of the service or retires, the veteran goes on terminal leave and the military has not finalized the paperwork. This allows a veteran to get in-state residency while that paperwork is still being completed.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Paul, prime sponsor.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.