Tuesday, January 21, 2014

One VEA Bill Advances, Fixing a Problematic Bill, and Budget Amendments

The House Committee on Education Subcommittee on Education Reform met this morning at 7:30, and the result for VEA was a good one.  Delegate Rust’s HB 977, which extends from 5 business days to 10 business days the deadline for a teacher to request a hearing after receiving a written notice of a recommendation for suspension, reported unanimously.  This bill will be heard by the full committee on Monday.
I have written in a prior posting regarding SB 532 and HB 134, the diabetes bills.  You may remember our objections from the prior posting.  I am most pleased to report that I joined the VSBA lobbyist and the Prince William School Board lobbyist in a most productive meeting with Senator Stuart, the Senate sponsor.  There is a very good chance that we can amend these bills in a manner that addresses VEA’s concerns.
One bill on VEA’s legislative agenda, Senator Hanger’s SB420, which requires VRS impact statements to detail the financial impact of a proposed bill on members and beneficiaries, gained final passage in the Senate on a 38-0 vote.  We thank Senator Hanger for his fine work on this bill.  

Delegate Ben Chafin did an excellent job of presenting VEA’s 6% salary amendment to the introduced budget.
Speaking of budget amendments, it is instructive to look at the budget amendments submitted by your delegate and senator.  It’s a way to see their priorities.  Let me take you through the steps.  First click on this link.
Then click on the blue words “Budget Amendment Items” on the left side of the screen.

You’ll see reference to the 2014-2016 Biennium (HB 30/SB 30).  These are the budget bills.
Click on House to see House amendments and Senate to see Senate amendments.

Then just click on the little aqua arrow beside the Senator or Delegate’s name – up will pop their amendments.  This is what they are asking for in the budget.  Amendments for public education are usually numbered 130, 135, 136, 137 or 138.  For example, Delegate Chafin’s amendment for educator’s salaries is 136 11h.  Poke around and you’ll learn about various legislators’ priorities.  For example, Delegate Peace wants to defund the Opportunity Education Institute (state take-over of underperforming schools).  Check out your delegate and senator’s amendments.