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Day 39 – Dual Enrollment on Pause

The Capitol may have been the safest place in the state this afternoon as a lot of extra security arrived in preparation for the final vote on the abortion bill.  There was definitely some citizen participation after the House gave the final passage to the bill.  Civics in action. Otherwise, it was a typical late session kind of day swinging between slow moving and fast as the two chambers worked through agreement on bills and passing those still making their way through.  Here’s the recap:

House 

SB 68 started out addressing financial governance issues of local boards but by the time it was voted on today it included three other bills. 

  • HB 32, moving the position of chief turnaround officer to a Department of Education staff position, has been oddly contentious.  There has been no discussion on changing the duties or processes to be followed, just to whom he/she would report (the State Superintendent) and who would fill a vacancy in the position (the Governor). Currently the State Board, appointed by the Governor, hires and supervises the position.  Gov. Kemp has said he wants to streamline government wherever possible.  This was a good place to start, and he supports the change.
  • HB 86, requiring local boards to establish a process for a teacher who has received their fourth (or more) consecutive contract to appeal their evaluation if they choose to do so.  The appeal could be to an independent third party.
  • HB 464, relating to public comments at local board of education meetings, got a slight revision before the vote today.  Originally, the board could not require any prior notice for the public to make comments.  That was changed to prohibiting the requirement of more than 24 hours notice prior to the regular monthly meeting.  A public comment period would be required, although I don’t know of one that doesn’t have that already.  The board chair can limit the length of time for individual comments and the number of people speaking.

The bill passed 153-2 and goes back to the Senate for agreement with the House changes.

SB 108, requiring computer science courses in high school and middle school on a phased-in timeline, passed 163-3 and went to the Senate for agreement.  They did and it now goes to the Governor.

SB 213, changing campaign finance reporting dates, passed and went back to the Senate for agreement.  They passed it again and it goes to the Governor.

Senate 

HB 444, the dual enrollment bill, was tabled before any discussion took place.  Reportedly there were several amendments coming.  By the way, I need to make a budget correction from last night’s report.  The final decision on dual enrollment funding was to cut it $4.2 million not to increase it by that amount.  The House had recommended that cut to reflect implementation of HB 444.

HB 218 extends eligibility time for HOPE.  It passed and goes to the Governor.

HB 12 requires a sign be posted in each school with the toll-free phone number to report child abuse.  It passed and goes to the Governor.

HB 182 lowers the amount of internet sales an out-of-state company would have to make before they have to collect sales tax.  It also passed and heads to the Governor.

The Senate also agreed to the House version of SB 48, the dyslexia bill, and it goes to the Governor.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE 

The General Assembly will convene at 10 AM on Tuesday, April 2nd