Conference Committee Plugging Along
Brief, but Insightful, Conference Committee Meeting. The Education Finance and Policy Conference Committee met for two hours on Tuesday morning and continued to go through the side-by-side comparison of the two bills. After finishing a comparison of Article 2–the Education Excellence article that contains a number of programs that aim to increase student achievement–the two sides discussed the logic they used in developing their proposed increase in the general education revenue basic amount. As has been reported, the House proposes a 4% increase next year, a 2% increase the year after, and having increases automatically tied to the rate of inflation thereafter. The Senate proposal is a 4 % increase next year, 5% the year after, with increases thereafter not tied to inflation. It was an interesting discussion and tying the basic formula to inflation next biennium would ensure a measure of stability that has been sadly lacking over the past three decades. There were several big bills on the floors of the Legislature today–the tax bill and the family and medical leave bill in the Senate and House respectively–and that prevented the conference committee from reconvening later in the day. The conference committee is scheduled to meet again tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2:30 PM and hopefully they can make it all the way through the side-by-side. Stay tuned.