House OKs major school finance fix; Senate's plans uncertain

Jane Richards
April 21, 2017

Republican Sen. Ryan Aument highlighted the fact that the bill would not require teachers to carry firearms but merely give local school boards the authority to allow trained staff to do so.

A screenshot snapped by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, showing the numbers of those registered to testify for & against HB 2899, shortly after midnight on Thursday.

It remains to be seen if policymakers actually compromise on the proposal this year, or if it will fall by the wayside yet again as the state's $2.7 billion budget gap consumes the spotlight.

Recent efforts to enshrine the benefits into law have snagged over the scope of who should be covered, for how long and through which mechanism.

The NCAA had staged among the most visible boycotts in North Carolina, pulling seven championships events out of the state a year ago. Democrats on the House panel took shots at a number of provisions in Rodrigues' bill, from the number of licenses to the number of dispensaries to the routes of administration. "It would be so wrong for us to fail those communities and family members because we can't agree on a couple of issues".

The growth of the measure (SB 926) quickly drew complaints, even from some supporters, that it was becoming an unwieldy train, a term for late-session bills that mash together proposals to ease passage for one or more of the ideas.

"This is a very complicated issue and I understand the significance of your decision making here, but I would ask that you err on the side of safety of our children", said a representative of Protect Life and Marriage.

The amendment was defeated, with Coghill saying that allowing local governments to opt in or create their own plans offered them more flexibility.

Wielechowski ultimately supported the bill.

"It does a lot of good, but not almost enough as it could or should", he said.

Abbott was noncommittal over a bill passed by Texas Senate in March that mimicked the original North Carolina law.

House Bill 23 heads back to the House for a concurrence vote. One attendee posted a photo on Facebook showing that another 369 people registered their opposition of the bill that's being touted by its author Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, as a more considerate version of SB 6. It would have implications for nondiscrimination ordinances such as San Antonio's, which includes protections in public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status.

Other reports by VgToday

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