This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)
Lame duck lesson #1: just because something has been declared dead doesn't mean it can't get up and start walking again, so it's too soon to celebrate despite some good news this week. We learned that lesson this week when seclusion/restraint legislation that looked like it was going to die on the House floor without a vote suddenly got legs and was passed over to the Senate with surprisingly large margins…though it's future in the Senate is questionable since the package is a huge shift in policy and that body will only have a week to debate it. Legislation to close the MPSERS system for new hires and move them into a 401k-style system passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee last week and was declared dead on the floor this week by the Senate Majority Leader's office. A rumor popped up last week of a proposed deal to change the way the School Aid Fund receives income tax revenue and thus shift some $430 million away from schools to the state's general fund…then was declared dead by the Governor's office on Thursday after he and his staff spent all week trying unsuccessfully to rally votes. Finally, a bill that would have required every student to take and pass the civics portion of the US citizenship test as a condition of graduation was substituted in the Senate Education Committee to resolve the education community's concerns.