Thursday, February 8, 2018

So About Last Night


The House Appropriations K-12 Sub Committee had their last meeting before crossover and budget development. Bills will pass other committees on good policy, but have a fiscal impact or will have a budget implication that needs to be reviewed. The sub didn't get started until around 5:00pm, and the VEA supported 12 of the bills and was ready to speak to the value of each bill. We had no expectation that some of the big dollar bills would get out of the committee, but there were some smaller bills we felt good about. Everyone in the room had been at work since 7am, so we were punchy and the night started to fall apart for our bills.

The first three bills I spoke to on behalf of the VEA all died. Then came a bill we had no position on, and it reported out. I started to realize the pattern that was developing. When I went up to support our next bill, I introduced myself as the Kiss of Death. The subcommittee laughed, and then killed our bill. If I got up, the bill was dead. I knew it wasn't me, but it was obvious that our bills to reduce class size, add instructional positions, add programs to support our students the most in need, are expensive and the Commonwealth does not have the resources to support these important budget items.

It did become kind of a joke, and we were having some fun about it. In fact, at one point I had to leave the room to take a call. A bill was up that we had no position on, and as I was walking back into the room, the committee was voting to kill the bill. The chair said to me as I entered, "You just walk into the room and bill goes down." It was all in jest, I promise, but nothing was getting out of there.

The best part of the night was when Delegate LaRock leaned towards my ear when his bill was up and said jokingly, "Will you oppose my bill? I'd like it to pass." I didn't get up and his bill was actually carried over to 2019, so it lived. The funny thing is, VEA actually supported that bill, but I didn't want to do it to fail.

Below you have the list of bills that were in the committee. The VEA supported HB13, 121, 168, 199, 305, 687, 791, 1111, 1508, and 1118. Take a look to see what the Kiss of Death did on those bills. HB1278 is the bill that we supported but the patron asked me to sit it out... it lived. I don't take it personally, these bills are much-needed, but very heavy lifts. I won't lie, though, the committee was rough although the committee members were great about it all and it started to become entertaining. I learned Chairman Chris Peace and Delegate Steve Landes can take a joke, because I didn't let them off easily.


HB670Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (8-Y 0-N)
HB692Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (8-Y 0-N)
HB13Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB121Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB168Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (7-Y 1-N)
HB176Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (8-Y 0-N)
HB199Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB255Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (7-Y 0-N)
HB305Subcommittee recommends striking from docket (9-Y 0-N)
HB336Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (8-Y 0-N)
HB687Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB688Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB791Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (6-Y 2-N)
HB1111Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB1118Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (8-Y 0-N)
HB1278Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2019
HB1380Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
HB1508Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (8-Y 0-N)
HB1576Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (7-Y 1-N)