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Rep. Hansen proposes bill requiring state colleges to share financial data

Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island  - Photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislature
Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislature

The public — including parents and students — could see at a glance where state colleges get their income and how they spend it under a bipartisan bill introduced by state Rep. Drew Hansen.

“Parents and students deserve to know how our colleges are funded and how they’re spending the money,” said Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island. “That’s important information for families making decisions on colleges.”

The measure, House Bill 2651, requires state universities and colleges, including community colleges, to display prominently on their own web sites a link to the financial information, which would be kept on a separate state website.

Included among income categories would be tuition, state support, gifts and revenue from athletics. Spending categories would include instruction, research, student services, administration and athletics.

“As a parent, I want to be able to see at a glance how much colleges are spending on instruction and how much they’re spending in categories like administration and athletics," said Hansen, a 23rd District lawmaker.  "It’s very hard to find that out right now, and I hope this bill will change that.”

The bill was introduced Jan. 23 and will be referred to the House Higher Education Committee.

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