Friday, March 11, 2016

Sine Die

The pace of the final days of a session is often maddeningly slow.  Legislators waited for conference committee reports on the bills which required that the differences between the House and Senate be ironed out.  A good example was today conference report of HB8, the virtual school bill, which was accepted by both the House (60-Y 36-N 1-A) and Senate (23-Y 17-N).  VEA will be requesting that Governor McAuliffe veto this bill.

Two bills, now conformed, Delegate Greason’s HB895 and Senator Miller’s SB336, have the potential to drastically change graduation requirements and consequently our high schools.  These bills begin the process of reexamining what graduates need to know and be able to do.  Verified credits may become a thing of the past, industry certifications may become a viable alternative to a diploma.

We also waited as a consequence of the time constraints of the budget adoption procedures.  The rules require 48 hours to review the budget prior to adoption, so the soonest this evening’s budget vote could occur was at 8 PM.  But, Virginia has a budget, HB30, for the next biennium, and following adjournment of the House Sine Die, the Senate adjourned Sine Die at approximately 8:35.

This session, my last as your chief lobbyist, is over. 
Please look for a session summary posting in the weeks ahead.