The 18th week of the legislative session saw a lot of activity. A flurry of bills advanced through both the House and Senate, giving them a shot at becoming law this year. As the hours ticked down on Friday, it was decided that lawmakers will return to the State House next week for final negotiations. This puts us a day or two beyond our target, but very close to conclusion.
Next week’s negotiations will be key to a timely adjournment. The House Speaker, Senate Pro Tem, and Governor have met several times in recent days. The goal of these meetings is to hammer out a compromise. Taking stock of the many bills that are moving toward the Governor, about 95 percent will be signed into law. The remaining need to be worked out or can be revisited next January, when we return for the 2020 session.
The floor debate took us through a variety of topics. On the education policy front, conferees successfully negotiated an agreement on the bill (S.40) to test for lead in the water systems of public schools and child care centers. The bill will be debated by the House next week — I support the bill and expect it will pass.
Several other education provisions were attached to other bills after this year’s miscellaneous education bill failed to move. These included a process to facilitate the safe transfer of student records from closing private colleges, a task force to address and reduce sexual harm on college campuses, and a handful of other technical changes to education law. We expect these various pieces will advance into law with little controversy.
With a lot of work still up in the air, I will provide an update after we reach consensus and move to adjourn. Until then, please be in touch if you have any thoughts or questions. I can be reached at [email protected] Thanks for keeping in touch!