The storm is coming… As of Thursday, the Joint Budget Committee officially closed the budget. This means the Long Appropriations Bill (the budget) will be introduced by Monday in the Senate for a week’s worth of amendments and debate. Then it moves to the House for another week of amendments and debate. This is an important point in the legislative session and the fate of all remaining proposed legislation carrying a fiscal note will become a bit clearer. After the budget is finalized, the annual School Finance Act will be the next big item on the agenda, so we can look forward to an eventful end of March and April.
Under the Gold Dome
With 47 legislative days behind us this session, more than 50 education-related bills have been introduced. About 35 of them are still making their way through the process. We anticipate the introduction of several major bills related to school finance, accountability, and teacher effectiveness.
This week, the long-awaited Rep. Millie Hamner (Frisco) /Rep. Bob Rankin (Carbondale) “Achieving a Vision for Education in Colorado” strategic planning bill (HB 1287) was introduced which will kick off several conversations regarding the future of school finance in Colorado.
We also had a busy week in committees. On Monday, Stand’s Chelsea Henkel testified in support of Rep. Barbara McLachlan’s (Durango) Strategic Plan to Address Teacher Shortages (HB 1003) which successfully advanced out of the House Education Committee. On Thursday, HB 1181: Required State Assessment for Ninth-grade Students passed out of the Senate Education Committee unanimously.