[caption id="attachment_139947" align="aligncenter" width="5472"]Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill cutting tuition at the state's colleges and universities Monday, July 6, 2015 in Olympia, Wash. National experts on college tuition have called Washington's tuition cut a rare move that could influence other states. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed an unprecedented bill Monday that would cut tuition at all of Washington’s public college and universities over the next two years.
The College Affordability Program will have four-year schools see their tuition cut by 15 to 20 percent, and two-year schools see tuition drop by 5 percent, the Associated Press reported.
Tuition is set to go down 15 percent at the University of Washington and Washington State University and 20 percent at Western, Central, Eastern and the Evergreen State College.
The state budget will make up for the cut in dollars going to the colleges and universities from tuition by adding money to the state higher education budget through other sources.
Tuition will not be allowed to go back up until the fall of 2017, per the law, but even then it will only be allowed to increase as fast as the annual average percentage growth in the median hourly wage for Washington for the previous 14 years.
Washington state Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond) told the Associated Press that the tuition policy bill marks a long-term commitment to higher education. The tuition cut was a Republican legislative priority that has been pushed hard throughout the year.
"Lowering tuition is a great step in providing crucial relief to American families," said Hill. "We think it has great economic impacts going forward."