Friday, February 1 marks the 19th day of the regular 105-day session. This is the first session in the 66th two-year biennium. The focus of the legislature still remains tightly on the committee process but has shifted slightly from information gathering work-sessions to more detailed public hearings on specific legislative proposals. The legislative process is moving forward with the first critical cutoff date (house of origin policy cutoff February 22) right around the corner. Policy bills that do not advance out of committee by this day are considered “dead.”
Agency legislative updates
The Boards’ legislative proposals are progressing. Currently, the discussion is tightly focused on policy proposals. The budget discussion will kick into high gear the closer we get to the March 20 revenue forecast.
Removing testing barriers
This piece is shaping up to be a strong bipartisan proposal, being prime sponsored in the Senate by veteran and caucus chair Democrat Sen. John McCoy and a handful of other Democrats, including education committee chairwoman Sen. Lisa Wellman. The House version of the bill is sponsored by freshman Republican Rep. Alex Ybarra and a handful of other Republicans including ranking education committee member Rep. Mike Steele and Republican caucus chair Rep. Paul Harris. It is also worth noting that Democrat and House education committee chair Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos also signed onto the bill. The next step for this proposal is to receive a public hearing in committee. We are working closely with partners to raise a request for a hearing, and bolstering the momentum of this proposal.
In other news
We are closely watching a number of other bills in process due to their potential impact on agency work.
HB 1139 is an omnibus bill brought forth by Rep. Santos and is very similar to omnibus proposals she has brought forth in the past. This 57-page bill touches on a number of areas of the agency’s work. We are working closely with legislators to provide feedback and suggested alterations to this bill. This proposal is a high priority for Chair Santos and will be something that spurs discussion throughout the session. Staff spoke to the bill during its public hearing and continue to work on bringing forth targeted amendments.
HB 1658, sponsored by freshman Democrat and education committee Vice Chair Rep. Dave Paul, speaks broadly to paraeducators and brought forth some suggested revisions to training delivery and timing for the upcoming paraeducator program training requirements. Staff worked directly with the sponsor to address some potential conflicts with federal requirements and to ensure that the language regarding training delivery was streamlined and more easily implemented.
- NOTE: You may see the original version of this bill has some need for language change. We have lined up a language revision that, if the bill gets a hearing, will likely be made public as a proposed substitute. When a proposed substitute is introduced, it replaces the original version of the bill. If passed out of committee as substituted, the original language becomes “dead.” However, if an amendment was drafted and the proposal passed out of committee as amended, that amendment could be withdrawn elsewhere in the process, particularly during floor debate, essentially reverting the bill back to its original language.
There are other bills in process regarding social and emotional learning, mental health, bilingual instruction, aannnnndddd eye ball tattooing? The first part of session sees a flood of ideas and suggestions.
As always, if you have any questions about this process, the agency’s work, or anything else to do with the legislature, reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org