Washington lawmakers propose free community college for state residents

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A group of Democratic lawmakers in Washington have announced a proposal to make community college and technical college free for state residents without a bachelor’s degree.

Some qualifying students could also get a stipend for books and other expenses based on family income, lawmakers said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The lawmakers did not include a way to pay for the program, deemed the “Washington promise program.” The plan would apply to part-time students, too.

Last year, President Barack Obama proposed making community college free.

Three states have created free community college programs since 2014: Minnesota, Oregon and Tennessee, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

At least 11 other states introduced legislation to create similar programs in 2015.