Year published: 2017Month published: NovemberMedia type: PDFNumber of pages: 6Print publication number : 2A5001Chttp://www.wiche.edu/info/publications/2017_HE_Legislative_Activity.pdf Higher education was again fertile ground in 2017 for Western U.S. state legislatures, whose budget and bill dynamics affect students, families and postsecondary institutions across the region. We dove deep to discern some key trends: Energy-dependent Western states saw shrinking budgets; yet other state budgets grew robustly. High on legislative agendas: Student-centric cost and value concerns, with an emphasis on “free-college” programs and credential attainment. Bills related to data and governance were among ways legislators grappled with the productivity and effectiveness of public higher education. These are among the WICHE Insights embedded in a new report, 2017 Higher Education Legislative Activity in the West: What You Need to Know, a compendium of activity in the 16 states and territories that comprise the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education membership.