Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Legislative Volume is Overwhelming!

In a most pleasing Monday morning development, the House Finance Committee thwarted Delegate Massie’s attempt to expand Virginia's tuition tax credit program to include pre-school, HB1019 on a 10-Y 12-N vote.

Yesterday, the House passed two bills that repeal the Labor Day School Closing law.  Delegate Robinson’s HB71 passed on a 76-Y21-N vote, and Delegate Greason’s HB753 passed as well, 76-Y 22-N

In the Senate yesterday, SB191, a bill to hold a statewide referendum on the question of whether the General Assembly should adopt a resolution to propose an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia that would establish an independent redistricting commission to create and propose redistricting plans for House of Delegates, Senate of Virginia, and congressional districts, passed on a 31-Y 9-N vote.

Every year we see bills seeking to add additional requirements for those “seeking initial licensure or the renewal of a license.”  What this really means is that the prospective and current teachers will have to pay for professional development that should be paid for by state and local government.

Delegate Kline’s HB842 is just such a bill.  Kline rightly asserts that teachers should “receive professional development in the indicators of dyslexia and the scientific methods of teaching a student who is dyslexic.”

The bill was reported and re-referred to the House Appropriations Committee early this morning by the House Subcommittee on Education Innovation.

In other early morning action, the House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee tabled all of the redistricting bills (HB26, HB553, HB555 calling for non-political district criteria, and HB247 creating an independent redistricting commission) in a block on a voice vote.  Disgraceful!

The Charter School Charter School Constitutional Amendment, HJR1, was up for a final House vote today, but it went by until Monday.  Could it be that they don’t have the votes?

In the Senate, the Tebow bill, Senator Garrett’s SB612, passed on a 22-Y 17-N vote.

VEA initiated SB564 sponsored by Senator Norment, reported unanimously from the Subcommitte #2 of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.  This bill shields teacher licensure applications from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections reported the three bill package (SJ6, SJ93, and SB588) placing the Charter School Constitutional Amendment on the ballot in November.  The 7-Y 6-N vote was straight party line.