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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

 10:43 PM 

Next up: College affordability package

The Assembly is diving into the GOP’s college affordability package, with Dems starting debate with a proposal to revive their "higher ed/lower debt" amendment for the first bill, AB 739.

The six bills in the package cover multiple elements of higher education, from increasing grants to technical colleges to expanding internship opportunities.

The bills in the package and their fiscal estimates, according to state agencies, are:

*AB 739, which would create an income tax deduction for interest paid on qualified education loans. Fiscal: $500,000 in fiscal 2016 and $5.2 million annually after that;

*AB 740, which increases grants for tech colleges to aid students. The bill has a sub amendment that would eliminate a requirement tech colleges match the state money going toward the grants. Instead, the bill simply funnels $1 million to tech colleges during the biennium. Fiscal: $500,000 in the current and following fiscal years;

*AB 741, which would expand emergency financial need grants for students at tech colleges and two-year UW colleges. Fiscal: $450,000 total;

*AB 742, which would require DWD coordinate between colleges and employers to increase the number of students placed in internships and add two employees at the agency to oversee that. The bill has an amendment by author Rep. David Murphy, R-Greenville, that clarifies the legislation doesn't carry new money but rather a transfer of $200,000 from the Fast Forward program. Fiscal: $0;

*AB 743, which would require the UW Board of Regents create new positions to coordinate efforts to help students get internships. Fiscal: $500,000 for the biennium and then continuing annually unless action is taken to cut the money;

*and AB 744, which would require colleges and universities provide students information relating to educational costs and financial literacy. Fiscal: $0.


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