Friday, March 9, 2018

General Assembly Update 3/8/18

VSBA staff continue to work with legislators and fellow education advocates on the remaining bills of interest to our organization that are currently in conference committees between members of the House and Senate. We are also monitoring activity on the floor of both bodies as we race towards the finish line. The General Assembly theoretically has until Saturday, March 10th to conclude its business for the 2018 session.

One item of interest announced today was the creation by House Speaker Kirk Cox of the Select Committee on School Safety. The committee was created in response to the school shooting last month in Parkland, Florida. The Speaker will serve as chairman of the committee, which will be comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. A letter from the Speaker to the Clerk of the House outlying the scope, membership, and work-plan of the committee can be found here. This will be the first Select Committee created by the House of Delegates in 155 years.

Regarding the budget, House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones announced today that the General Assembly will not be able to pass a budget by Saturday's scheduled conclusion. An impasse over the two vastly different House and Senate budget proposals will cause the General Assembly to either extend the current session or convene for a special session in order come to an agreement. A budget plan must be in place before July 1st or the state government will shut down. 

We will continue to keep you apprised of the latest developments as they occur.