HB 1251

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 20, 2014

Title: An act relating to membership on the opportunity scholarship board.

Brief Description: Increasing membership on the opportunity scholarship board.

Sponsors: Representatives Stonier, Carlyle, Seaquist, Harris, Maxwell, Takko, Kochmar, Vick, MacEwen, Fitzgibbon, Morrell, Tarleton, Haler, Riccelli and Bergquist.

Brief History: Passed House: 3/04/13, 58-40; 1/24/14, 61-36.

Committee Activity: Higher Education: 3/14/13, 3/19/13 [DP]; 2/20/14.


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Bailey, Chair; Becker, Vice Chair; Kohl-Welles, Ranking Member; Baumgartner, Frockt and Tom.

Staff: Eric Wolf (786-7405)

Background: In 2011 the Legislature established the Opportunity Scholarship Program (Program) to support low and middle-income resident students pursuing eligible high-demand majors in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care, and to encourage scholarship recipients to work in the state upon completion of their degrees.

The Program is overseen by the Opportunity Scholarship Board (Board), which consists of seven members appointed by the Governor. Currently, for two of the appointments, the Governor must consider names submitted by the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Four of the appointments must be foundation or business and industry representatives from aerospace, manufacturing, health sciences, information technology, and other industries, nominated by private sector donors. Five members of the Board constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.

The Board provides oversight and guidance to the Program, and their duties include soliciting funds for the scholarship and setting annual fund-raising goals. The Board is also responsible for the supervision of a Program Administrator who manages scholarship and endowment accounts for grants and contributions from private sources and state matching funds. The Program Administrator is responsible for distributing scholarship funds to Program participants by May 1 of each year.

Summary of Bill: The Board is increased from seven to nine members. The two additional members must be foundation or business and industry representatives appointed by the Governor.

Appropriation: None.

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:

Testimony From 2013 Regular Session.

PRO: The Board puts together funds for scholarships for higher education. They honor the fact that it is hard for students to get started with increasing costs of education, by increasing scholarships as students progress in school. Adding more members to the Board will give greater opportunities for those who are raising money. The expansion helps the Board reflect the business and industry in the state with a growing need for high-demand degrees. Additionally, adding members will facilitate the Board's ability to meet members' busy schedules and meet quorum requirements.

Testimony From 2014 Regular Session.

PRO: There are two bills addressing the Program because the board membership provisions in HB 1251 were drafted and passed to the Senate in the 2013 Regular Session. HB 1251 has passed back to the Senate in 2014 as the House Higher Education Committee was working on the House companion to the Senate's Opportunity Scholarship bill, E2SSB 6423. HB 1251 makes administrative improvements to the Program. HB 1251 calls for two additional members, but should be amended to call for four additional members to reflect the membership provision in the Senate bill on the Program, E2SSB 6423.

Persons Testifying:

Persons Testifying From 2013 Regular Session.

PRO: Representative Stonier, prime sponsor; Susan Pollack, WA State Opportunity Scholarship Board, College Success Foundation.

Persons Testifying From 2014 Regular Session.

PRO: Representative Stonier, prime sponsor; Yolanda Watson-Spiva, College Success Foundation.