Bob Kefgen's blog
The Detroit Chamber hosted their annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island this week, an event that typically results in a short session week as many legislators leave town to attend the conference…and while the Senate held true to form, the House decided to hold session rather than head to the Island. Both chambers reached agreement on final budgets this week and managed to report them out of their respective conference committees before the Senate left town.
The House, Senate, and Governor’s Office reportedly reached a tentative agreement earlier in the week but it took a lengthy Thursday session before the House mustered enough votes to pass a package of bills that would restructure Detroit Public Schools. Most of the legislation passed by a narrow margin and with exclusively Republican votes. Democrats voted against the legislation in a block and several Republicans crossed over to join them in voting against each of the bills.
Here are some quick highlights of the legislation:
On Tuesday, the House and Senate conference committee on the 2016-17 School Aid budget reported out their final budget agreement. While this agreement still needs to be ratified by the full House and Senate, the vote is almost certain, which means schools have a final budget agreement they can count on as they finalize their spending projections for next year.
Legislation that passed out of committee last week and would amend the world language and visual, performing, and applied arts sections of the Michigan Merit Curriculum took its next step in the legislative process this week and could be up for a vote of the full House prior to summer recess. The same is true of legislation that would require students to take and pass the US Citizenship Test as a precondition for graduation.
UPDATE: The bills passed the full House on Thursday, June 3, but not before two noteworthy amendments were added: