The House faced a hard deadline of midnight Tuesday to consider Senate bills on “second reading” (the first of two votes). Tuesday evening, Rep. Harold Dutton laid out SB 9, one of the major school bills, while expressing his concerns about lack of respect from the Senate.
The bill passed on its first vote after several amendments were added, including one to increase the basic allotment by $1,000 per student. The basic allotment is the fundamental funding mechanism for public schools, and increases to the basic allotment also drive teacher salary increases. The previous proposal had been for a $50/student increase in the basic allotment.
It was generally understood that this was not a serious proposal, but rather a message to the Senate, as the budget bill does not include funding to pay for this multi-billion dollar increase.
When SB 9 came back up Wednesday for its final House vote, Dutton made a motion to “postpone” the bill until a date after the end of the session — a common parliamentary maneuver that kills a bill.
This leaves only HB 100, which passed the Senate on Monday, as the remaining vehicle for school funding and teacher pay raises. The Senate added a voucher/education savings account plan to that bill, and the House will consider Senate changes later this week.