Under the Gold Dome:
As can be expected in the beginning of the legislative session, the General Assembly saw another fairly mild agenda. Over 70 new bills were introduced this week, bringing the total number of bills that have been introduced to nearly 300. Although many bills have been introduced, it will take time for each of them to come before a committee and be heard. Education, as the single largest budget item in the state, continues to be a hot topic for new bills.
On January 29, stakeholders gathered with bill sponsor Rep. Dave Young to discuss his bill HB16-1016 which would create a grant program to help districts implement multiple measures of student growth in addition to statewide summative assessments. Details and changes to the bill will be released next week, and a hearing on the bill is scheduled for Monday, February 8.
Rep. Janet Buckner’s bill, HB16-1002, which would allow certain employees to take a leave from work to attend their child’s academic activities, was heard in committee this week. Many activists, parents, and students testified in favor of the legislation. It passed out of committee.
The Senate Education Committee heard two bills this week: SB16-045 by Sen. Nancy Todd and Rep. Pettersen and SB16-079 by Sen. Nancy Todd. Testimony was heard on SB16-045, but the committee did not take a vote, and both bills were laid over for a vote on a later date.
Other bills that are scheduled to be heard in committee in the upcoming week:
HB16-1022 (Rep. Jim Wilson) – would provide statewide funding for full-day kindergarten
HB16-1131 (Rep. Terri Carver) – repeals state participation in a consortium of states that created the new assessments in English Language Arts and Math and allows the department of education to participate in a pilot program to create new state assessments