SENATE BILL REPORT
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 of February 22, 2012
Title: An act relating to institutions of higher education services and activities fees.
Brief Description: Concerning institutions of higher education services and activities fees.
Sponsors: House Committee on Higher Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Reykdal, Fitzgibbon, Zeiger, Kenney, Maxwell, Haler, Green, Jinkins, Sells, Moscoso, Ormsby, Pollet, Billig, Anderson, Probst, Lytton, Wylie, Ladenburg, Kelley, Angel and Hunt).
Brief History: Passed House: 2/10/12, 96-0.
Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 2/21/12.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Staff: Kimberly Cushing (786-7421)
Background: In addition to tuition fees, all students at institutions of higher education are charged services and activities fees. These fees are dedicated to fund student activities and programs, as well as for repaying bonds and other indebtedness for facilities such as dormitories, hospitals, dining halls, parking, and housing. Services and activities fees are not set by the Legislature, but state law requires that these fees may not increase faster than the annual increase in tuition.
Each institution of higher education must have a services and activities fee committee to evaluate programs and submit budget recommendations for the expenditure of services and activities fees to the governing board and administration. A majority of committee members must be students. The administration reviews the budget recommendations and the governing board has final authority for adopting the budget. The board must give priority consideration to student desires in budget areas that do not impact preexisting contractual obligations, bond covenants, or stability for programs affecting students.
All information pertaining to services and activities fees budgets must be made available to interested parties.
Summary of Bill: Institutions of higher education must post services and activities fees expenditure information on their website. Annually, by September 30, each services and activities fees committee, in coordination with the administration, must post the expenditures of services and activities fees from the previous academic year. This information must be clearly visible and easily accessible. At a minimum, the services and activities fees budget information must include all the major categories of expenditure and the amounts expended in each category.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: As tuition climbs, so doe students' services and activities fees. This is becoming a significant amount of money, and it is appropriate for students and the public to always know how much money is being raised by fees.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Reykdal, prime sponsor.