Bob Kefgen's blog
An education policy bill had not passed the House for all of February or March and most of April, but that all changed this week. The House this week passed a whole host of legislation including its omnibus version of the K-12 budget for next year, a package of dual enrollment legislation, and a bill to raise the cap on cyber schools.
The budget process marches on as both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees reported their versions of the School Aid budget this week. The bills will likely come up for a vote by the full chamber this coming week before the process moves on to conference committee.
The legislature was on their second week of spring break last week, so there was no legislative session and only one committee hearing. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement held a marathon six-hour hearing this week to take testimony on SB 1040, the MPSERS reform package. No votes were taken and the Senate has yet to commit to a timeline for moving the legislation beyond saying that they would like to have it move concurrently with the budgets because of its potential financial impact.
Despite legislators being back home for their so-called “in district work period,” this past week was not without legislative fireworks. A ruling last Monday by the Ingham Circuit Court at least temporarily blocks the union dues collection ban and has the potential to stymie most if not all legislative activity for the remainder of the year.
Senator Kahn created the biggest stir this week with the introduction of SB 1040, a bill to significantly overhaul the MPSERS system. Not to be outdone, the Senate K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee heard State Superintendent Mike Flanagan concede that, despite what it says in the Governor’s budget recommendation, the MEAP test is not an effective measure of growth.