Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The top priority of this 105-day session is for us to come up with a comprehensive education funding plan that ends school districts' overreliance on local levy dollars to fund basic education. House Democrats and Senate Republicans — the majority parties in each chamber — have now released their proposals to address this problem, which is good to see so early in the session.
However, the only plan on the table that offers any significant reforms is the Senate Republicans' plan. It replaces our current education funding system, which is deeply flawed, with a constitutional funding source. Furthermore, it prioritizes better student outcomes and increased accountability, while also keeping quality teachers in the classroom.
I recorded a video update earlier this week to discuss each of these plans in further depth. I encourage you to watch the video update and contact me with any comments or questions you have.
In the video, I also discuss my new role on the House Rules Committee and the work we're doing before policy cutoff on Feb. 17. Policy cutoff represents the first major deadline of the session. At the end of the day on the 17th, any bills without a fiscal impact that have not been voted out of their respective committees will be considered “dead” for the year. They can be reintroduced next session, but will not become law this year.
State Need Grant legislation
I wanted to draw your attention to a recent column about the State Need Grant (SNG) by Lens' Mike Richards. Lens is an online publication that dives into a variety of public policy issues affecting our state. In his column, Richards provides an overview of the SNG program, and talks about my legislation (House Bill 1214) to restructure it to help thousands more low-income students graduate from college with less debt at no additional cost to the state.
Please continue contacting me with your comments, questions and concerns. My phone number and email address are below. I also welcome you to contact my legislative assistant, Roy Atwood, to set up a time to meet with me. I've already had dozens of meetings with constituents in my office this session, and look forward to many more.
My number one priority as a legislator is ensuring I'm representing you well. The issues most important to you are the issues most important to me, and I'll always do what I can to make sure your voice is heard here in the House.
It is an honor to serve you.