Lots of legislative action slated for this week

Many bills may be voted on in committees today as the Turnaround deadline approaches for the 2019 legislative session. 

It is important for education advocates to stay up to date on bills in committee and any education bill on the floor of the House and Senate since they could be amended. KASB will provide updates on social media throughout the week. 

The flurry of activity is because of the Legislature’s Thursday Turnaround, which is the deadline when all bills from non-exempt committees must be forwarded by their chamber of origin to survive.  

Today is the final day for committee meetings and Tuesday and Wednesday will feature all-day sessions in the House and Senate.  

Measures that have gained Senate committee approval include SB 7, which would allow school boards to elect their board officers in January instead of July; SB 128, which would require schools have four fire drills, three crisis drills and two tornado drills per school year and SB 16, allowing school districts to expend at-risk funds on evidence-based learning programs. These bills are now before the full Senate. 

Two bills tightening up procedures aimed at stopping bullying (HB 2257 and HB 2330) have received hearings as has HB 2150, which would allow private school vouchers for students who witnessed bullying or were bullied. Committee action on these bills may happen today. 

HB 2166, which as amended would have allowed a financial literacy course to substitute for a high school math requirement, failed to gain approval in the House Education Committee. HB 2183, allowing a computer course, HB 2288, dealing with freedom of religion in schools and HB 2233, requiring school districts provide $500 stipends for each teacher, have all been heard by the House Education Committee and could be voted on today. 

The Senate Education Committee today could consider SB 148, which would impose new requirements for school district board requests for proposals for construction or repair projects that involve proprietary product or proprietary installation methods. The committee also held a hearing on SB 199, creating the AO-K to work program that allows certain adults to earn high school equivalency credentials by participating in career pathway oriented postsecondary classes. Last week, the committee failed to advance SB 47, which would have set up postsecondary scholarship fund for students who graduate from high school one full year early. 

Agendas for today for the House Education Committee, K-12 Education Budget Committee and Senate Education Committee note “Final action on bills previously heard.”  

The House Taxation Committee also is meeting and could take up SB 22, which would reduce taxes by nearly $190 million in the next fiscal year. Nearly three-fourths of that cut would be for corporations.  

The hard work of providing K-12 funding to address the Kansas Supreme Court ruling to increase funding to account for inflation will apparently be worked on during the second part of the 2019 legislative session. 

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