Sen. Arnold on ed proposals: School start date, teachers’ collective bargaining

The bills are starting to really come out
at a fast pace now, and we are approaching the midway point in the session. Next week
will be the last week for committee hearings, and any bills not actually heard by next week
in committee will no longer have a chance of surviving and being heard the rest of the
session. Last week, I was unable to cover the fact that we covered the school starting
date, which is of very big importance to our local schools up there. That bill failed,
by the way, of a vote of twenty-five to twenty-three. But it can be brought back. One more day it
has the eligibility to be brought back for reconsideration because the constitutionality
of twenty-six votes needed for defeat wasn’t reached, so there’s a chance that it may
be brought back again but, as it stands right now, the school dates will remain as they
are. Also, while we’ve had on the calendar Senate Bill five-seventy-five, which is the
teachers’ collective bargaining bill, it’s been eligible to be voted on now for a week
but it has not been called down. It’s a very, very touchy subject down here because
of the teachers’ contracts and the ability of, or I should say, the components within
that bill that are going to be taken away from the teachers of what they can bargain
for and what they can’t. So, that is eligible for a third vote any time they want to call
it down, and that will definitely be a lot of the discussion and probably a lot of issues
brought forward about that particular bill. The unemployment bill is going to be heard
this afternoon in the Senate committee, and it just came over from the House, so they’ve
got that also kind of on a fast-forward track. So, many things happening right now.

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