Wednesday, January 28, 2015

State-Wide Health Insurance Clears SFC 14-0!

This morning in the Senate Finance Committee, The Chafin/Vogel Statewide health insurance bill, SB866, reported on a vote of 14-0.  This is a VEA initiated bill, and it is now headed to the floor of the senate on the uncontested calendar.  The bill was amended to allow inclusion school board and local government employees.

YEAS--Stosch, Colgan, Howell, Saslaw, Norment, Hanger, Watkins, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, McDougle, Vogel, Carrico, Alexander--14.


SJ 256  as Senate Resolution to place on the ballot and Constitutional amendment to grant the Board of Education authority, subject to criteria and conditions prescribed by the General Assembly, to establish charter schools within the school divisions of the Commonwealth reported from the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee on a 8-7 party-line vote yesterday evening.

YEAS--Vogel, Martin, Obenshain, Smith, Carrico, Reeves, Garrett, Cosgrove--8.

NAYS--Howell, Deeds, Edwards, McEachin, Alexander, Miller, Dance--7.


In a very interesting development, Senator Toddy Puller’s SB1021 was amended in the Public Education Subcommittee of Senate Health and Education this morning.  The added language is underlined:  “… the Board of Education may waive the requirement that school divisions provide additional teaching days or teaching hours to compensate for school closings resulting from a declared state of emergency or severe weather conditions or other emergency situations. This language could be most helpful when we have winters like we had last school year.  This bill now goes to full committee.
An unexpected victory this morning the House Education Committee was the failure of HB2238 to report.  Please see yesterday’s posting for details on this bill.  The committee vote is not posted as I write.  I hope we won’t see post-meeting vote switching.  As Henry Howell used to say, “There’s more sneaking around in the middle of the night in Richmond than Santa Claus.”