The 2017 General Assembly enters its final phase Monday as Republican leaders prepare for Gov. Matt Bevin a stack of legislation on university funding, religious expression, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and many other subjects.
The Kentucky House and Senate are scheduled to continue passing bills through Wednesday, then recess until March 14, when they will return for two days of voting on “concurrence” — deciding whether or not to agree with any changes that have been made to their bills by the other chamber.
Next, Bevin, a Republican, will get two weeks to veto legislation if he chooses. Lawmakers return to the Capitol on March 29 and 30 to act on Bevin’s vetoes, if there are any, and conclude their 30-day session.
Here is where some noteworthy [education] bills that have passed at least one chamber stood on Friday:
- House Bill 128, which would allow school districts to offer elective Bible study classes, awaits a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.
- House Bill 151 would permit children to attend the school nearest their home, causing concern in Louisville, where a racial desegregation plan involves moving some children outside of their neighborhoods to create greater classroom diversity. It awaits a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.
- Senate Bill 1, which would establish a new process for intervening in low-performing schools and reviewing classroom academic standards, awaits a hearing in the House Education Committee.
- Senate Bill 17, which details the right of public students to express religious viewpoints in school, awaits a final vote on the House floor.
- Senate Bill 107 would grant sweeping powers to the governor to abolish every public educational governing board in Kentucky, including those at state universities, the Kentucky Board of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education. It awaits a hearing in the House State Government Committee.
- Senate Bill 153, which would create a new method of funding higher education, funneling $1 billion to state universities based on their graduation rates and other performance measures, awaits a hearing in the House budget committee.