Friday, March 15, 2019
This Week’s Recap
A few highlights from the legislature this week:
- HB 2364 (school supplies grant pilot program) was voted on again after failing a few weeks ago and failed to pass the House again by a vote of 29-31.
- HB 2693 misconduct involving weapons; school grounds) passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, 4-3. See the Action Alert below for more information about this bill.
- SB 1073 (school district consolidation; elections) and SB 1394 (charter school; training; posting; procurement) both passed out of the Senate 17-13.
The Senate Education committee won’t be meeting next week, as there are only 2 House bills assigned to the committee right now. However, the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee are hearing several K-12 bills that ASBA is tracking. See both of those agendas on the right.
Head over to Capitol Impact for our staff summaries of all the bills we heard this week.
There are a few bills waiting for action next week that ASBA wants you to be aware of.
HB 2026 (public resources; influencing elections; penalties). This bill allows a resident of a city, county, town, or school district to file suit with the county superior court if they suspect a public employee used public resources to influence the outcome of an election. This is already illegal (for school districts, it’s prohibited in 15-511), and the Attorney General or County Attorney is free to investigate suspected wrongdoing and file a suit under current law. We believe 15-511 is sufficient to address this concern and are worried that HB 2026 would result in many baseless and expensive lawsuits. HB 2026 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
The other bill is HB 2693 (misconduct involving weapons; school grounds). Under current law, an adult is allowed to store an unloaded firearm in their parked car on school grounds. HB 2693 would allow loaded guns to be stored in vehicles on school grounds. ASBA is concerned with the conflict between this bill and the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. Unless a person has a Concealed Weapons Permit (CCW), they could be in violation of federal law for storing a loaded gun in their vehicle at a school. HB 2693 is awaiting floor action in the Senate.
Lastly, SB 1256 (school districts; procurement practices; auditors) is scheduled to be heard in the House Education committee this Monday. ASBA supports this bill, as it repeals a few harmful changes to school district procurement regulations that were enacted with last year’s budget. SB 1256 would remove the requirement for school districts to award contracts for materials, goods, services, or construction based solely on the lowest qualified bidder, as well as the requirement for school districts to change auditors or auditing firms every three years.
SB 1256 contains an emergency clause, and this bill is vital to ensuring school districts can make procurement decisions in a timely manner and award contracts for the goods, services, and construction projects that best meet the needs of their students.
Next Week’s Agendas