Monday, March 7, 2016

The Best of Days and the Worst of Days

Final passage of Senator Chafin's SB364 (96-Y 0-N) was cause for celebration this morning.  This bill may lead to creation of a statewide health insurance option for local government and school board employees.  Passage of SB364 reflects years of VEA work.

However, for the plan to be successful we need at least 3,000 to 4,000 participants - 10,000 would be ideal.  So, we are going to have to go to work at the local level to encourage participation in the new state plan.  Details will be available in the months ahead.

Our celebration was tempered by the passage of both HB8, Del "Dickie" Bell's virtual school bill and Delegate LaRock's HB389, the parental choice savings account bill.

HB8 passed on a 23-Y 17-N vote with Democratic Senators Lewis and Petersen voting with the Republicans.

HB389 contains a reenactment clause, requiring that the bill pass again next year before it goes into effect.  The vote was 20-Y 19-N with Senator Norment not voting.

Back to good news, SB360, Senator Howell's bill which in its amended form requires that the Board of Education create a model exit survey for departing teachers, gained final passage (40-N 0-N).