Monday, January 27, 2014

Lobby Day

Several hundred VEA members came to the Capitol today, and we thank them for lobbying in support of public education.

They came to Richmond when the weather was warmer and when VEA received a warmer reception from legislators.  Elections make a difference, and having a governor who sees teachers as part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, makes a huge difference.  Republicans noticed that we backed 17 Republican House candidates, who are loyal supporters of public education, in November.  That proves what we have said all along, VEA is issue driven and party blind.  Stand up for public education and we will stand up for you.
Elections make a difference and we are reaping the benefit of your good work in the last election cycle.

Speaking of elections, VEA welcomed Senator Wexton to the Senate who recently won the election in the 33rd Senate District.  Her seat was vacated by Mark Herring when he was elected Attorney General.
One of VEA’s bills, Delegate Rust’s HB 977, which changes the time a teacher has to appeal dismissal from 5 to 10 business days, was reported from the House Education Committee on a 22-0 vote.
Rob Bell’s HB 63, which allows homeschooled students to participate in interscholastic programs (sports), was reported on a 13-8 vote.

Our chance on killing this bill on the Senate side improved when Lynwood Lewis prevailed in today’s recount.  As soon as he is seated, the Democrats will control the Senate, and it appears that the committees will be reconstituted.
For those folks who think their vote doesn’t matter, Lewis become a Senator because he had 11 move votes that Coleman.

The next days promise to be most interesting as we watch the senate and all its committees shift.  It is rumored that John Edwards will replace Steve Martin as chair of the Senate Education and Health Committee.  I don’t ever remember this happening mid-session.  This is going to be something to behold!