Yesterday was another eventful one in Tallahassee. The House remained on the floor until almost 10:00 p.m. and the Senate until 7:00 p.m. There is discussion of one last budget conference meeting today and extending session to vote on the budget on Wednesday of next week.
- The Senate also took up the tax package (HB 7097) in full their Appropriations Committee and amended it. That bill will have to move through the floor process before being bounced back to the House.
- HB 7065 (school safety, MSD recommendations) passed the Senate and was bounced back to the House due to amendments.
Retained on Special Order:
- HB 7067 K12 Scholarships was substituted for SB 1220, but TP’d twice yesterday over controversy surrounding amendments related to exempting the teacher salary allocation from scholarship funding formulas. If the amendment does not pass, students leaving public school to take a scholarship will have a portion of those funds go toward their 95% voucher, diluting dollars earmarked for teacher salary enhancement.
- After a failed attempt to amend teacher salary allocation language to HB 7103 (this failed on the floor), language is now filed to include teacher salary policy in HB 641 Articulated Mechanisms in Education (Simmons/Plasencia). Key concerns surrounding this topic are: commissioner approval/compliance with DOE on teacher salary pay plans, the definition of “classroom teachers” who qualify for the enhancement, and timelines for the release of the increase.