Positive Update from the Capitol

Posted 3/16/16

Two more voucher bills died today! That's something to celebrate. HB 1080 and SB 2695, both tax credit scholarship bills, were never taken up in committee. Today was the deadline for each chamber to take floor action on its own revenue and appropriations bills.

One voucher bill is still alive (HB 33) and we are watching it closely. See more on that voucher bill here. It has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

In other good news, Senate Appropriations Chairman Buck Clarke announced that the Senate budget plan includes a $40-million increase to the MAEP, as well as increases to universities and community colleges. It is very early in the appropriations process, and neither the Senate Appropriations Committee nor the full Senate has had an opportunity to vote on the K-12 budget bill, but any talk of increasing MAEP funding in the current environment is welcome news. Read more.

Please join me in thanking Chairman Clarke and Senate budget writers for their recognition that public schools need and deserve better funding.

The Senate budget proposal does call for approximately $10-million in cuts to other unnamed segments of the K-12 budget, and we will look closely at that proposal when the full budget is brought forward.

Next Tuesday is the deadline for House committees to vote on Senate bills and for Senate committees to vote on House bills.