House Action on HB1494
House Bill 1494, the education funding bill, as it passed the House of Representatives, provided level funding (the same as this year) for Fiscal Year 2012. After the bill passed the House, it went to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senate Appropriations Committee Action on HB1494
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a strike-all amendment to the bill which cut the funding total in the House bill by $81-million. (This strike-all was not approved unanimously by the committee – several committee members both spoke and voted against it.) HB 1494 with the strike-all amendment then went to the full Senate for consideration.
Senate Floor Action on HB1494
There were 4 votes on this bill in the Senate:
1) The first was a vote on an amendment to the strike-all amendment, proposed by Senator Briggs Hopson, that restored $15-million of the $81-million that was cut in the strike-all. This amendment to the strike-all amendment was approved by a vote of 32-16.
2) The second was a vote on the amended strike-all amendment, which now cut the House level of funding by $66-million rather than $81-million, due to the Hopson amendment to the strike-all amendment. The amended strike-all amendment containing the $66-million education budget cut was defeated by a vote of 22 yeas and 29 nays. Click here to email your thanks to all senators who voted to stop the cuts to education.
- A yea vote was a vote for the budget cut.
- A nay vote was a vote against the budget cut and for the higher funding in the original bill.
- This is the vote that determined the Senate’s position on K-12 funding for Fiscal Year 2012.
3) The third was a vote on an amendment to add a reverse repealer for the purpose of sending the bill to conference. This was a technicality put in place to avoid a veto of the bill, and it was adopted on a unanimous voice vote.
4) The fourth was a vote on final passage of HB 1494, which was back to its original House version since the amended strike-all amendment had been defeated. This vote was a foregone conclusion since the vote on the amended strike-all amendment had already expressed the will of each senator regarding the bill. The final passage vote was taken on “use of the morning roll call,” which means that all senators who had been recorded as “present” in the chamber that day were automatically recorded as voting yea on final passage of the bill, unless they expressly asked to be recorded as voting nay. Two senators, Senators Brown and Yancey, asked to be recorded as voting nay; the other 49 senators allowed the “morning roll call” to stand as their vote. This meant that HB 1494 passed the Senate.
This fourth vote allowed senators to be recorded as voting for higher funding of K-12 education, when in reality, 22 of them voted for budget cuts and against higher funding in the decisive vote, which was the amended strike-all amendment that would have cut $66-million from school funding.
The Parents’ Campaign reports the votes that are decisive in determining funding, which usually also are the votes that reveal the actual positions of legislators concerning education funding.