Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The 2017 session of the General Assembly kicks off today in Richmond. Ellen Davenport, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, will be monitoring the pieces of legislation important to the VCCS.  Below is a brief recap of relevant bills filed to date:

  • HB 400 through HB 1136 and SB 52 through 586 are carryover bills from the 2016 session that will drop off the list by the start of the General Assembly.  Some may resurface with new bill numbers in the coming weeks.
  • HB 1592 (Delegate James) and SB 999 (Senator Ruff) are identical bills that we have worked on with the Governor’s administration that deal with award of academic credit for credentials received through apprenticeships. 
  • SB 1032 (Senator Favola) is also a bill initiated by us which will allow the VCCS’s foster care tuition grant, which is now only available to foster care students pursuing academic credit instruction, to now include recipients pursuing workforce credentials.  There will be an identical bills introduced by Senator Steve Newman and Delegate Daun Hester.
  • HJ 611 (Delegate Marshall) and SJ 254 (Senator Stanley) call for SCHEV to study the feasibility of community colleges awarding baccalaureate degrees in applied science fields.  Delegate Marshall expressed interest in this concept in early December.
  • SB 1026 (Senator Dunnavant) conforms the Code of Virginia to budget language that sets the Expected Family Contribution necessary for the Two Year Transfer Grant at $12,000.  Delegate Massie will be introducing an identical bill.  (State Board member Walter Stosch asked us to have these bills introduced).
  • SJ 242 (Senator Edwards) is a resolution for JLARC to study the feasibility of Virginians attending our community colleges without paying tuition or fees.

Regular legislative updates will be posted to the VCCS blog throughout the session, which concludes on Feb. 25.'

Laura Osberger


  1. ?

    Richie Windley

    I think that the Senate Bill SJ 242 by Senator Edwards for JLARC to study the feasibility of Virginians attending our community colleges for free is a great resolution! If this is possible that means all Virginians could receive a College education and get a head start in the Job Market.

    • ?

      Laura Osberger

      The funding source for Virginia’s proposal has not yet been determined, although that will become a major topic if the bill advances through this year’s legislature. However, tuition-free community college is not a new concept. For example, the “Tennessee Promise” free community college program has been funded with a realignment of other Tennessee public higher education funding sources and proceeds that are earmarked from the Tennessee lottery. Theirs is a “last dollar” program, meaning that federal Pell Grants and other grants and scholarships are drawn down first before “Tennessee Promise” funds are accessed.

      New York and Rhode Island are also considering similar programs. Click here for more information, and stay tuned to my weekly blog ( for updates. Thanks.


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