The Democrat-controlled House Appropriations Committee plans to vote on a proposed substitute to their education funding bill, HB 1843, out of committee this afternoon. They will face challenges from House Republicans, because there is no funding mechanism tied to it. They will not vote on the Senate bill, SB 5607, so the bill is dead until negotiations begin – which will be behind closed doors.
What that means is that HB 1843 will pass out of committee along party lines. Whether it actually passes the House quickly will be another story, again since there is no associated funding mechanism at this time. But the House Democrats control with 50-48 majority, so it is possible they will send to the Senate (the Senate bill passed the Senate along party lines too).
House and Senate Republicans have said they won’t begin negotiating on the Democrats’ education funding plans until the Democrats show how they will pay for what they want to authorize. So far, the Democrats don’t appear to have the votes or a cohesive set of bills to pay for their estimated $3+ billion package.
Finally, the House Republicans have a plan, different than the Senate Republican education funding proposal. It is possible we won’t see a bill from House Republicans – more of negotiating principles and elements they support and have the votes for as the negotiations progress. We expect to learn more in the upcoming week on their approach to ample education funding.
WSPTA Legislative Consultant