The Senate State Affairs Committee convened just briefly – it only took a few minutes – and introduced new legislation sponsored by Sen. John Goedde, Rep. Reed DeMordaunt and state schools Superintendent Tom Luna aimed at resolving the impasse over the defeated public school budget. The new bill provides for two new programs, with a sunset, or expiration clause, one year out. The two are a differential pay, or merit bonus, program, with the bonuses to be distributed under local school district criteria, and with up to 40 percent of the money to go to professional development; and a technology pilot project grant program.
There are no dollar figures in the bill; instead, it says the funding is “dependent on budget decisions.” The description of the two programs appears similar to what was described in the intent language in the defeated budget bill.
Senators on the committee thanked all those who worked on the measure, including representatives of education stakeholder groups who were in the room, Luna, and lawmakers involved in the talks that led to the bill. “I’m grateful that we’re in this position,” said Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis.
Goedde asked the committee to introduce the bill to help resolve the education budget impasse, saying it’s a “recodification of that in an effort to send it through the germane committee, where it will be properly disposed of.” Davis responded, “’Properly disposed of’ has got me worried.” Goedde said, “My view of 'properly disposed of' at this point is sending it to the floor with a do-pass recommendation.”