Thursday, February 6, 2014

Long Day at the Old GA – We won a few and lost a few.

The Senate Education and Health Committee had a long agenda filled with controversial measures in both the education and health realms.  Delegate Stuarts SB532, the diabetes bill is still problematic, but as a result of help from Senator Martin it is  less so.
The bill would have required instructional aides and clerical personnel to give glucagon injections.  If they refused to do so they could be disciplined or dismissed.  We delineated the eight steps in the procedure to the committee, and Senator Martin moved an amendment to address our concern.  The bill, as reported 14-1, still has some problematic elements, but this most worrisome provision has been removed.

We want the needs of diabetic children addressed, but making it mandatory that all instructional aides and clerical personnel be required to give injections is not the answer.
The same committee reported Delegate Rust’s HB 977, the bill that will allow a teacher more time to determine whether or not to appeal a dismissal, was reportedunanimously.

On the House floor today, Delegate McClellan’s HB 720 reported on a strong 87-9 vote.  This is the lactation support bill (#expressyourself).  We thank Delegate McClellan for her hard work.  Now this bill goes to the Senate.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee reported (6-0) a very flawed virtual school bill, Dickie Bell’s HB 324, which creates a stand-alone virtual school that students can enroll in instead of attending their local public school.

Finally, the House Appropriations Compensation and Retirement Subcommittee failed to report Joseph Yost’s HB 463, Statewide Health Insurance, despite the efforts of Delegates Yost and Kilgore.  There was broad support for the bill, and no opposition, but the bill died for lack of a motion.  This one hurt!