After working through a backlog of bills, the Senate made quick work of the seven education bills, passing all of them unanimously with very little debate. Included in this group of bills is full funding for year three of the Career Ladder, which represents an infusion of $61.9 million in additional funding to be allocated to districts for teacher compensation. Also approved was a 4.1% increase in discretionary funding, much of which is set aside to help districts offset rising health insurance costs. Having already passed the House, the education funding bills now go the Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter for his signature.
Transportation, Tax Bills Still in Question
The two pieces of legislation that were most debated Wednesday remain up in the air. The Senate rejected the larger of two transportation funding bills. A smaller bill could still make its way through before the end of the session. Read more from Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review. Meanwhile, the Senate has passed a bill repealing the grocery tax. This legislation originally came to the Senate as an income tax cut from the House, so it now goes back to the House where it faces an uncertain future. Again, you can read more from Spokesman Review Statehouse reporter Betsy Russell.
Most observers are still optimistic that the legislature can adjourn by their target date of Friday, March 24, but it is possible the session could be extended into next week.