28 May 2016

Legislative regular session through May 28. 2016


THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 606 passed the Senate and was sent to the governor; HB 842 was sent to the governor; HB 922 with minor amendment passed Senate committee; HB 948 passed the Senate; HB 1019 with minor amendment passed Senate committee; HB 1081 passed the Senate and was sent to the governor; HB 1155 passed Senate committee; HB 1156 passed the Senate; SB 329 with major amendment passed the House and was concurred in; SB 446 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 466 with minor amendment passed the Senate; SB 473 with minor amendment passed the House.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 32 with minor amendment passed Senate committee; HB 223 passed the Senate; HB 266 passed the Senate; HB 805 passed Senate committee; HB 878 was deferred involuntarily; HB 1102 was concurred in; SB 260 passed the House; SB 262 passed the House.

SCORECARD:

24 May 2016

Committee action, May 24: SB 446, HB 922, HB 1019


DID YOU KNOW?
SB 446 by Sen. Sharon Hewitt would have the Board of Regents conduct a review of its operations. She explained to the House Education Committee that a systematic reporting was necessary in order to use most efficiently resources, with an eye towards the future. Limited financial resources made an understanding of what resources were at hand, what gaps exist, and what must be done to close these crucial. The report should have an ideal end state, present state, and the barriers from going to the former from the latter. Then the Legislature would deal with the results next year. She had offered amendments that would clarify expectations, which were adopted unanimously.

Rep. Chris Broadwater found merit to the bill, saying it would prompt the Regents to move faster and farther than might happen otherwise. Four years from the past revision of the master plan he thought meant it was time to review it. But, he said he did not want the bill to make it stale for the future, so he suggested a sunset date. Hewitt said she agreed, and Broadwater offered an amendment to sunset at the end of the next fiscal year that was adopted without dissent.

Rep. Pat Smith wanted to know if Hewitt was amenable to amending to gather data on diversity and degreed status of staff. She didn’t, and the amendment was adopted without objection.

22 May 2016

Legislative regular session through May 21, 2016


SB 373 exits the list of good bills, as amendments allow for a needless commission with a needless duty to stay in existence.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 386 was signed by the governor; HB 606 passed Senate committee; HB 842 was concurred in; HB 948 with minor amendment passed Senate committee; HB 1081 passed Senate committee and the Senate; HB 1156 passed Senate committee; HB 1167 failed to pass the House; SB 80 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 317 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 473 with minor amendment passed House committee.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 7 was signed by the governor; HB 223 passed Senate committee; HB 771 was deferred involuntarily; HB 985 was deferred involuntarily; HB 1102 passed the Senate; SB 254 was deferred involuntarily; SB 260 passed House committee; SB 262 passed House committee.

17 May 2016

Committee action, May 17: SB 260, SB 473

DID YOU KNOW?
SB 260 by Sen. Dan Morrish would repeal the local charter authorizer portion of state law. Currently, BESE may designate up to 40 statewide, and these may bypass local boards. He stressed to the House Education Committee they were not elected, unlike the other entities, and didn’t like the idea that chartering could occur without elected official participation.

Supporters of the bill testified that to allow this was akin to having a nongovernment organization making law, that meritorious schools will get charters through elected bodies, that multiple authorizers tend to produce schools with lower outcomes, and duplicated regulation. However, they admitted through questioning that no authorizers existed, and only two applicants ever.

Opponents noted authorizers also were adjuncts of government agencies, faced rigorous qualifications and oversight as well as any schools the authorized, and maximized choice. Rep. Chris Broadwater, however, wondered whether a system never used ought to be retained and what should happen to encourage its use. He was told the rigor and lack of knowledge of the system might be the cause, and noted in other states this worked. It was supposed to be stringent to ensure quality; indeed, these were higher standards than any other schools in the state.

14 May 2016

Legislative regular session through May 14, 2016

This week, HB 454 mutated into a benign form by removing from it a burdensome requirement to have the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget approve of over a hundred state contracts a month. And another bill that by substitute became HB 1167 becomes good, by Rep. Stuart Bishop that would allow school choice within any school district, subject to legal constraints and availability. Also, by substitute SB 342 transformed into a benign bill.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 386 was concurred in; HB 573 was withdrawn; HB 606 passed Senate committee; HB 812 was signed by the governor; HB 842 with minor amendment passed the Senate; HB 922 passed the House; HB 1005 passed Senate committee; HB 1081 passed Senate committee; HB 1156 with minor amendment passed the House; SB 80 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 174 was signed by the governor; SB 329 passed House committee; SB 373 passed Senate committee and the Senate; SB 466 with major amendment passed Senate committee; SB 473 passed Senate committee.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 7 was concurred in; HB 74 was deferred involuntarily; HB 109 was signed by the governor; HB 1102 passed Senate committee; SB 256 with minor amendment passed Senate committee and the Senate; SB 262 with minor amendment passed Senate committee and passed the Senate; SB 332 passed Senate committee