April 3, 2002

To the Honorable President and Members,
The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am returning herewith, without my approval, Substitute House Bill No. 2914 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to creating a financial aid account to ensure that all statewide student financial aid is made available;"

Substitute House Bill No. 2914 would have created a new account to receive unspent financial aid appropriations at the end of each fiscal year. The account would have been subject to allotment procedures, but no appropriation would have been required for expenditures by the executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Board.

I support increasing financial aid for Washington college students. However, the legislative budget process should decide how much financial aid the state can provide compared to other financial demands in state government. This bill would allow general fund-state dollars to lapse into a non-appropriated account, effectively removing such funds from legislative budget deliberations. That would set an undesirable precedent.

For these reasons, I have vetoed Substitute House Bill No. 2914 in its entirety.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Locke