Bill to require early registration period for military members passes House, heads to Senate


Legislation to require higher education institutions to provide an early registration period for military members and dependents has cleared another hurdle in Olympia and will now head to the Senate for consideration.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 2004, which was introduced by Rep. Joel McEntire, R-Cathlamet, at the request of a young service member. If passed, the legislation would provide early course registration to eligible veterans, National Guard members and active duty military members, as well as their spouses, domestic partners and dependents.

"Being in the military is not easy. You never know when you are going to have to pick up and go," McEntire, a member of the military for 13 years, said in a statement. "This gives those who serve and sacrifice for their country some assistance in making sure they are able to enroll in the classes they need. Military orders don't coincide with class registration."

According to McEntire, the policy was previously included in state law that expired in 2022. Under HB 2004, the policy would become permanent.

"The previous policy worked well. We want to lock it into statute and this would also expand it to dependents. This would help thousands of students, including disabled veterans, and allow them to register early and have time to request necessary accommodations," McEntire said.

The legislative session is set to end on March 7.