The GOP majorities in the House and the Senate already made significant progress this week in adopting a unified position on taxes and supplemental spending and policy. This is a critical step to negotiating a global deal with Gov. Dayton. View the updated score card
Here’s a look at some key moves made this week:
The Conference Committee wrapped up the tax conformity bill and the House re-passed it Tuesday. The Senate will likely pass it today and send it to the Governor who has promised to veto it unless they fund $139 million in one-time emergency school aid. As of now House and Senate negotiators haven’t acquiesced to this request and aren’t likely to do so.
Lawmakers on Tuesday adopted their E-12 provisions in the supplemental spending bill. These provisions are lengthy and it seems more like an education policy bill than a supplemental spending bill. They include a school performance rating system, lead in water testing and reporting requirements, school lunch regulations, dyslexia screening mandates, MCA reporting requirements and a mandate for threat assessment teams to highlight a few of them.
There’s a modest safe schools package that includes $18/pupil in new state aid in FY 19 ($54/pupil total allowance). However, the safe schools revenue drops significantly in the tails coming in at $41.50/pupil. In a nod to small schools and the need for scalable funds, the bill provides a minimum of $30,000 in safe schools revenue.
School linked mental health grants receive an ongoing $5 million increase.
Educational cooperatives see $7.50/pupil in FY 19 and $3.50/pupil in 2020 and beyond.
The Legislature can only pass bills until midnight Sunday. We still need the House to pass the pensions bill. They will likely hold it until this weekend as bargaining leverage against education interests. View the updated score card on the education issues.
These are the articles approved Tuesday by the Conference Committee.