Conference Committee Begins Adopting Provisions. The conference committee took its first steps in putting together the 2023 omnibus education finance and policy bill by adopting close to seventy identical provisions during its proceedings this afternoon. The criteria for adoption is that the provisions had to be identical in both bills and not have an impact on the state general fund.
The articles of the bill that included sections that were adopted were: Article 1 (General Education), Article 2 (Education Excellence), Article 6 (Charter Schools), Article 8 (Facilities), Article 9 (Nutrition and Libraries), and Article 13 (Forecast Appropriations). Again, the only items that were adopted were identical and that leaves most of the major items like the various funding formulas and more substantive curricular issues still to be determined.
Given the nature of the provisions that were adopted today, it might not seem like that big a deal, but having worked on staff (although more than 30 years ago) I can attest firsthand that being able to get the drafting of the final bill started is extremely important. The more that gets pushed off means the more that has to be put together under tight time constraints and that can lead to drafting errors with provisions getting left out of the bill by accident.
The conference committee will not be meeting tomorrow and I expect a flurry of activity early next week. As usual, I will be there keeping track of what’s happening.