Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Below is a brief summary of last week’s activity.

Budget Bills

HB 1500 (Del. Jones) and SB 900 (Sens. Norment and Hanger) passed their respective houses on Thursday, when each body examined and voted on the amendments proposed by the House  Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on February 5.  The budgets have crossed over, and HB 1500 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, and SB 900 has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee.  These two committees will each conform the opposite house’s legislation to their own budget bill, the bills will be voted on, and then cross back to their house of origin, where they will be rejected and a committee of conference appointed.

Budget conferees from last year are expected to be re-appointed this year, and negotiations are already unofficially underway; official budget conferees should be named next week. Expected conferees are Senators Norment, Hanger, Howell, Saslaw, Newman, Ruff, and Wagner, and Delegates Jones, Cox, Landes, Greason, O’Bannon, and Torian. 

Despite the challenging revenue environment, VCCS’s budget priorities are being strongly considered as budget negotiations take place. 

VCCS Priority Bills

The following bills were reported unanimously Thursday morning from Senate Education and Health; four of the five bills have already had a first reading in the opposite house. 
Apprenticeship for Credit 

 

  • HB 1592 (Del. James) authorizes the State Board for Community Colleges to require each community college to develop policies and procedures for awarding academic credit to students who have a state-approved registered apprenticeship credential.  The bill is identical to SB 999 (Sen. Ruff) which was reported unanimously from House Education and passed the House on second reading Friday. 

Military Tuition

 

  • HB 1721 (Del. Anderson) is permissive legislation which allows the State Board for Community Colleges to charge a reduced rate for tuition and mandatory fees for active duty military personnel who are stationed outside the Commonwealth, enrolled in a degree program at a community college and also enrolled in training that leads to a Military Occupational Specialty in the Army or Marine Corps, an Air Force Specialty Code, or a Navy Enlisted classification. The bill was heard on first reading in the Senate yesterday. 

Two-Year Transfer Grant

  • HB 1965 (Del. Massie) which aligns the Code of Virginia with the Appropriations Act by increasing the Expected Family Contribution from $8,000 to $12,000 was reported and re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  SB1026  (Sen. Dunnavant) is identical and passed the House on third reading yesterday.

Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment and Home School Students

HB 2007 (Del. Bell) was reported out of Senate Education and Health Thursday on an 8-7 vote and re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  The bill would allow all  school students to be enrolled at public high schools and pay the same amount as public school students for dual enrollment classes. The bill has an estimated $1.8 million fiscal impact for the VCCS and a $6.7 million fiscal impact for school divisions and/or parents of public school students.    

Dual Enrollment and Transferability

SB 1534 (Sen. Sturdevant) and HB 1662 (Del. Greason) are now identical and require the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia to establish a policy for granting undergraduate general education course credit to any entering freshman who has successfully completed a dual enrollment course.  SCHEV must consult with each public institution of higher education as the criteria are being developed.  In turn, every institution must make the policy available to the public on its website.  The patrons of both bills are very interested that students and parents are assured that completion of general education dual enrollment classes will make students’ four-year experiences more affordable, and that information is readily available and understandable when students sign up for general education dual enrollment classes that the courses are guaranteed to transfer. 

TANF Funds for Community College Scholarships

HB 2041 (Del. Murphy) was defeated on a voice vote on February 2 in the Health and Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee;  the Senate counterpart is still alive. 

Senator Bill Stanley’s identical Senate bill (SB 838) passed the Senate unanimously and has been referred to the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, where it is on the agenda for their meeting on February 14. 

Bill List

The bill list by category is attached and was last updated Thursday night; the numerical bill list is also attached and was updated on Saturday.

VCCS_Bills_Feb112017

2017 General Assembly Bill List by category Feb 9

edavenport@vccs.edu'

Ellen Davenport

Ellen Davenport is assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations for the VCCS. She works with the Chancellor and Virginia's 23 community college presidents to advance the financial and policy priorities of the VCCS with the Virginia General Assembly and Congress.

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