Delegates, senators talk higher education

virginia general assemblyToday, legislators from both parties and both bodies of the General Assembly held a press conference to discuss legislative initiatives to improve Virginia’s higher education.

“The results of a poll released yesterday by the Partners 4 Affordable Excellence @ EDU quantifies what we’ve suspected; that at $30 billion, Virginia student debt is a significant drag on our citizens and our economy,” said Senator Bill DeSteph.  “Virginians think tuition increases should be tied to the cost of living.  They believe that governing boards owe their first duty to the citizens of the Commonwealth.  They want more transparency and spending accountability from public colleges and universities.  I couldn’t agree with them more.”  DeSteph continued, “Voters from across the state and from every political persuasion have spoken.  It’s up to us in the General Assembly to respond.”

“Virginians want our public universities to be more transparent, more accountable, and more efficient,” said Senator Chap Petersen.

“Many of my colleagues and I in the General Assembly have worked to increase the number of in-state slots at Virginia’s public colleges and universities for nearly a decade,” said Delegate Tim Hugo. “The goal of this initiative is to ensure that qualified Virginia high school students are not turned away from Virginia’s premier universities in favor of out-of-state students. We must continue to work to ensure that our graduating high school students are able to pursue their secondary education here in Virginia.”

“Like many parents in Virginia, I have worked hard to save money with the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan to provide a prepaid tuition for my son’s future education. I was shocked and extremely upset to learn that some of the money that I worked hard to save is going to be used to pay for some other student’s tuition. My bill, HB 1410, simply says that a school cannot take money from one student and give it to another student against their will,” said Delegate Dave Albo.

Legislation introduced in the 2017 Session to improve accountability, accessibility, and affordability at Virginia’s public institutions of higher education include:

  • SB907 – Senator Surovell
  • SB931 – Senator Petersen
  • SB955 – Senator DeSteph
  • SB985 – Senator DeSteph
  • SB986 – Senator DeSteph
  • SB987 – Senator DeSteph
  • SB1087 – Senator Sturtevant
  • SB1088 – Senator Sturtevant
  • SB1353 – Senator DeSteph
  • SB1376 – Senator Petersen
  • SB1379 – Senator Petersen
  • SB1405 – Senator Surovell
  • HB1402 – Delegate Landes
  • HB1410 – Delegate Albo
  • HB1886 – Delegate Hugo
  • HB1887 – Delegate Hugo
  • HB1892 – Delegate Miyares
  • HB2004 – Delegate Poindexter
  • HB2260 – Delegate Villanueva
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