This afternoon, Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar announced a conference committee meeting on HB 530, the teacher pay raise bill, in Room 216 of the Capitol at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. That is good news! You can watch the livestream here.
In other sort-of-good news, you came very, very close to killing HB 1687, the voucher bill that uses tax credits to divert state funds to private schools. That bill will go to conference, so we have another opportunity to remind senators that public funds should be restricted to public schools, the only schools that are accountable to taxpayers. The official Senate vote on this bill was not available at this writing. We will post it as soon as it is available.
In bad news, the Senate passed HB 531, a tax cut bill that would strip $439-million from the state budget, on a vote of 34-16. See the Senate tax cut vote. This follows yesterday’s House vote on yet another tax cut plan that would slash $2-billion from the state budget – 34% of the state’s General Fund. These are extremely dangerous bills that could decimate our public schools. Both bills will almost surely go to conference, so we will get another shot at them, as well.
Please join us in thanking the senators who voted no on HB 531. Remind those who voted yes that their constituents rely on the services provided by those tax dollars to improve their quality of life – things like strong public schools, safe roads and bridges, and public safety. Find contact information for your legislators.
Tomorrow we’ll have news for you on the teacher pay raise conference committee meeting and more information about the impact that tax cuts could have on your school district. Stay tuned, because together, we’ve got this!