Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Higher Education Committee

HB 2259

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.

Brief Description: Eliminating certain duplicative higher education reporting requirements.

Sponsors: Representatives Zeiger, Seaquist, Haler and Roberts.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Exempts institutions of higher education from greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements in state law.

  • Repeals the requirements in state law for institutions of higher education related to crime statistics reporting and campus safety plan development.

Hearing Date: 1/25/12

Staff: Jill Reinmuth (786-7134).


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Reporting Requirements.

State agencies are subject to greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements under state law. By July 1, 2020, all state agencies are required to reduce emissions by 15 percent from 2005 emission levels; by 2035, emission levels must be reduced to 36 percent below 2005 levels; and by 2050, emission levels must be reduced to the greater reduction of 57.5 percent below 2005 levels, or 70 percent below the expected state government emissions that year.

State agencies are also required periodically to report to the Department of Ecology on progress in achieving the emissions reduction requirements. Agencies must report estimates of emissions from prior years, as well as projected emissions through 2035. Agencies must submit a strategy to meet the emissions reduction requirements that addresses employee travel activities, teleconferencing alternatives, and includes existing and proposed actions, a timeline for reductions, and recommendations for incentives to reduce emissions. Agencies also must report on actions taken.

Institutions of higher education also report greenhouse gas emissions data and plans for reducing emissions levels to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment on an annual basis. Two institutions, the University of Washington and Washington State University, are also subject to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 rule on mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements due to their status as government facilities under the rule.

Crime Statistics Reporting and Safety Plan Requirements for Higher Education Institutions.

Institutions of higher education are required to report on a variety of information related to crime statistics and campus safety under state law. These requirements include: submitting a monthly report, as well as publishing an annual report, on crime statistics; developing a campus safety plan and updating it annually; entering into a memoranda of understanding that outlines the responsibilities of affected local governments in the event of a campus emergency; and establishing a task force to examine campus security and safety issues at least annually.

These institutions are also required to report information related to campus security under the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. This federal law updated and expanded campus security reporting provisions for higher education institutions contained in the federal Clery Act. The 2008 law added, among other provisions: new categories to the list of hate crimes all institutions must disclose; a new disclosure regarding the relationship of campus security personnel with state and local law enforcement agencies; implementation and disclosure of emergency notification and evacuation procedures; and implementation and disclosure of missing student notification procedures for institutions with on-campus student housing.

Summary of Bill:

Institutions of higher education are exempted from the greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements in state law.

The requirements in state law for institutions of higher education related to crime statistics reporting and campus safety plan development are repealed.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 13, 2012.

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