MYNORTHWEST POLITICS

Sen. Murray reintroduces bill to establish tuition-free community, tech college

Oct 23, 2023, 2:44 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 1:45 pm

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Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) speaks during a news conference following the weekly Senate Democratic policy luncheon meeting at the U.S. Capitol Building on September 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is reintroducing legislation to make two-year technical and community college free for eligible students.

“I have seen up close how a higher education opens new doors and can have such a positive impact on students’ lives,” Murray said in a statement. “Community and technical colleges create pathways for students to pursue their dreams and they equip them with the skills they need to get good-paying jobs, providing training for those who want to enter the workforce.”

The legislation was introduced along with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

As Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee in the previous Congress, Murray also pushed to make Federal Pell Grants go further for students.

Related news: Sen. Patty Murray now 2nd in line to be president after McCarthy’s dismissal

“The problem is for far too many students, these opportunities are simply out of reach — and that’s got to change,” Murray said. “Tuition-free community and technical college would be a huge first step towards making college more affordable and expanding opportunity for everyone—when we invest in education and skills training, we are investing in a stronger economy for everyone.”

Called “America’s College Promise Act of 2023,the legislation creates a partnership between the federal government and states to waive tuition and fees for two years of community and technical college programs for eligible students.

It also establishes the federal government’s share of funding for the partnership, starting at 100% for the first year and ending at 80% for the fifth and subsequent years.

Murray has urged the Biden administration to make changes to repayment options for students regarding student loans.

Full text of this legislation is available here.

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Sen. Murray reintroduces bill to establish tuition-free community, tech college