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Washington House committee considers free tuition for community, technical colleges

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SEATTLE (AP) — The House Higher Education Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a proposal that would make community and technical college tuition free for anyone who doesn’t already have a bachelor’s degree.

The proposal, House Bill 2820, would also help some students pay for books and other expenses, depending on their family income.

Legislative staff has estimated the cost to offer free college tuition would be between $94 million and $105 million in 2017, depending on how many students enroll.

Meanwhile in the Senate, a proposal about finishing the work on K-12 school funding required by the Washington Supreme Court in its so-called McCleary decision was almost universally panned during public testimony before the Ways and Means Committee.