Wednesday, February 25, 2015

LaRock Voucher Bill Defeated, Howell Teacher Turnover Study Passes

In what was an incredible day, VEA and VSBA worked together to deliver key votes to defeat Delegate Dave Larocks’s HB2238, a voucher bill to shift public school funding to home and private schools (see yesterday’s post).

As the day started, we feared the NAACP’s position in support of the bill threatened our efforts to defeat the bill.  With help from Senator McEachin’s office and heavy lifting from Senator Locke, the NAACP changed their position to one of opposition.  We thank the NAACP for taking another look at the bill.

On the floor Senators Petersen, Favola and Locke spoke against the bill.  The bill’s champions were Senators Garrett, Obenshain, Stuart, Black and Martin.
When the votes were on the board, it stood 18-18 (see below).  Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam cast the tie breaking vote against the bill and it failed.

Take a look at the vote below.  Senator Puller was not present for health reasons.  Note that those Republicans who "took a walk" helped us.

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

NAYS--Alexander, Barker, Colgan, Dance, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, McEachin, Miller, Petersen, Saslaw, Wexton--18.

RULE 36--Norment--1.

NOT VOTING--Chafin, Puller, Watkins--3.

Mr. President: NAY

We thank the eighteen Democrats who stood strong.  We thank Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam for breaking the tie.  Se thank Norment, Chafin, and Watkins for not voting.

Additional good news came when the Senate concurred with the House substitute for Senator Howell’s SJR218, sending this study of teacher turnover to the Governor’s desk for his signature.