Hawkins’ “Walking Start to Running Start” bill signed by Governor!


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March 19, 2024

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Over the past two years, I have been developing my Senate Bill 5670 to expand the Running Start program. My bill allows students who have completed their sophomore year but haven’t yet started their junior year to earn up to 10 credits during the summer term. The bill received full legislative approval this past session. Following legislation, bills must be signed by the Governor to become law. I’m pleased to share that my bill was signed into law Monday in Olympia. The Governor’s signature culminated nearly two years of legislative work.


My Senate Bill 5670, allowing students between 10th and 11th grade to earn Running Start credits during their summer term, was approved by the Senate on Feb. 2 and by the House on the Leap Year day of Feb. 29. I’m very pleased that the governor signed it into law on Monday.

Running Start is a “dual-credit” program

Running Start is a free tuition “dual credit” opportunity for 11th and 12th graders, which was first implemented in Washington in the 1990s. The program allows students to earn tuition-free college credits while in high school. The credits earned count towards a student’s high school and college degree requirements. Students can participate in Running Start either as part-time students, sharing time at their high school and local college, or full-time, dedicating the full school day to their college coursework. This program helps students get a “running start” on college, accumulating credits during their high school years. State funding for the program follows the students, but support is provided to the high schools to encourage participation in the program.

Senate Bill 5670 was a bipartisan effort

My Senate Bill 5670, introduced during the 2023 session, expands Running Start opportunities for high schoolers by allowing students who have completed 10th grade but haven’t yet begun their fall term in 11th grade to earn up to 10 credits during their summer term. The bill took a major step forward on Feb. 2 when the Senate unanimously approved it.

As a member of the Senate’s Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee, I worked closely with Committee Chair T’wina Nobles on the bill. I support the Running Start program because some students can earn dual credits, with some even completing their AA degrees and high school diplomas. This opportunity saves the students money, reduces their likelihood of debt, and advances them closer to earning a bachelor’s degree.


Thank you to Wenatchee Valley College President Dr. Faimous Harrison for testifying in support of my Senate Bill 5670 on Running Start. The program is a helpful way to connect communities to their community college resources. I am a proud supporter of our state’s community college system.

Locals testify in support of SB 5670

Following the Senate’s passage, my SB 5670 received a hearing on Feb. 15 before the House Education Committee. As a former member, returning to the committee room was fun to advocate for my Senate bill. Wenatchee Valley College President Faimous Harrison testified in support of the bill and its opportunities for students in North Central Washington and beyond. Running Start students Anthony Zavala (Cashmere) and Ella Crawford (Eastmont) also testified in support.

Running Start program as an option for students and families, especially for students of middle-class families who may not otherwise qualify for financial aid. The program provides a proven way to build credits and put students on a degree path. Allowing students to begin the program during the summer months gradually could help ease them into college and help them experience success. You must walk before you run, so I’m calling it a “Walking Start to Running Start.” The House Education Committee approved the bill on Feb. 19 and by the full House of Representatives on Feb. 29.

Senate Bill 5670 – Recent Media


The Legislature adjourned its 60-day session on March 7 as scheduled. Lawmakers approved updates to the state budgets and limited bills, including my SB 5670. Next year’s legislative session is scheduled to begin on January 13, 2025.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve

My position as State Senator exists to serve you. If you have any questions about state issues, please contact me at senatorbradhawkins.org or call our Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 if you need immediate assistance at any time. Be sure to like and follow me on Facebook @SenatorBradHawkins, for my latest updates.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
(360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000