Monday, February 15, 2016

Charter School Constitutional Amendment Defeated in Senate, But It's Not Over

The floor calendars for both chambers, especially for the House, were thick today as we approach the legislative deadline for acting on legislation in the chamber of origin.

From an education perspective, charter schools dominated the debate.  The Senate took up the following two bills and one resolution required to amend the Constitution and to change the code to allow the state Board of Education to approve charter schools:

S.J.R. 6, the Constitutional amendment resolution failed on a 19-Y 21-N vote with Republican Senators Chafin and Hanger joining the 19 Democrats voting NO.

SB 588, the bill submitting the ballot question to the voters failed on a 20-Y 20-N vote.

SB 734, the implementation bill, went by for the day.

Here is the status of the companion bills in the House:

H.J.R. 1, the Constitutional amendment resolution passed Friday on a 52-Y 47-N on Friday.

HB 3, the bill submitting the ballot question to the voters passed on a 50-Y 48-N vote today.

HB 565 initially failed to pass the House 46-Y 53-N, but the House voted to reconsider, and the bill went by for the day.

So, H.J.R. 1, must pass the Senate for the Constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot in November.  I expect the final Senate vote to be late in the session.  The fat lady sings when the Senate rejects H.J.R. 1.

VEA initiated HB 524, Delegate LeMunyon's bill to protect professional growth indicators from FOIA requests, passed the House on a 98-Y 0-N  block vote.