Monday, February 2, 2015

Calendars and Dockets are Full, and Something is Rotten

The committee dockets and floor calendars are full as we approach crossover, and today has certainly been a mixed bag for VEA.

In the House Privileges and Elections Committee’s Constitutional Amendment Subcommittee, Rob Bell’s HJ577, which begins the process of placing the question of whether the Board of Education rather than your local school board should be able to grant a charter to a charter school was reported on a 5-2 vote.
YEAS--Ramadan, Hugo, Rush, Joannou, Cole--5.

NAYS--Miller, Lindsey--2.

This resolution will now go to the full committee.
The companion resolution carried by Senator Obenshain, SJ256, is now up for consideration by the full Senate.

Delegate Obenshain’s effort to make VRS coverage optional and waive licensure requirements for charter school teachers, SB1063, died for lack of a motion in the Senate Education and Health Subcomitte on Public Education.  SWEET!
I mentioned a smell in the Capitol the other day.  It seems that the head of the fish is pungent, and that something is rotten in Richmond.  You may remember that the House Committee on Education voted to defeat HB2238 last Wednesday.  Things became odiferous when the vote to kill the bill was never recorded.  Then, today, Delegate Leftwich, having voted on the prevailing side when the bill was killed, moved to reconsider (There is nothing improper abut such a motion).   A substitute narrowing the bill to establish education savings accounts only for students with IEPs and 504 plans.  The bill was then reported and re-referred to Appropriations on a 12-10 vote.  You'll be hearing more about this one!

YEAS--Landes, Lingamfelter, Cole, Pogge, Massie, Greason, Bell, Richard P., LeMunyon, Robinson, Farrell, Davis, Leftwich--12.

NAYS--Rust, Yost, Yancey, McClellan, Tyler, Bulova, Keam, Hester, Preston, Lindsey--10.

If your legislature was functioning in an open and transparent manner Wednesday’s vote would have been recorded.

Delegate Hugo’s HB1744, a VEA initiated bill to give school boards the option of employing a hearing panel rather than a hearing officer to resolve disputed teacher dismissals was reported by the full House Education Committee and re-referred on a 15-7 vote to the House Committee on Counties Cities and Towns.

YEAS--Lingamfelter, Rust, Massie, Bell, Richard P., LeMunyon, Robinson, Yost, Farrell, McClellan, Tyler, Bulova, Keam, Hester, Preston, Lindsey--15.

NAYS--Landes, Cole, Pogge, Greason, Yancey, Davis, Leftwich--7.

HB1328, Delegate Cole’s bill to require school personnel to determine the citizenship and immigration status of each student was referred from the House Education Committee to House Courts of Justice on a 15 to 7 vote.
YEAS--Landes, Lingamfelter, Rust, Pogge, Massie, Greason, Bell, Richard P., LeMunyon, Robinson, Yost, Yancey, Farrell, Davis, Leftwich, Preston--15.

NAYS--Cole, McClellan, Tyler, Bulova, Keam, Hester, Lindsey--7.

SB1132, Senator Garrett’s bill to allow those with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on school grounds after school hours was defeated in the full Senate on a 18-20 vote.

YEAS--Black, Carrico, Chafin, Cosgrove, Garrett, Hanger, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Obenshain, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner--18.

NAYS--Alexander, Barker, Colgan, Dance, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Marsden, McEachin, Miller, Norment, Petersen, Saslaw, Stosch, Watkins, Wexton--20.

 NOT VOTING--Lucas, Puller--2.