Originally posted on EdNewsColorado, May 9, 2012. Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org
Read here. Written by Todd Engdahl.
The radical changes in the three amended bills will require House approval later in the day.
Here are the bills that missed a key deadline and were effectively killed as standalone measures because of Tuesday night’s stalemate:
Senate Bill 12-172, which would require the State Board of Education to commit Colorado to one of two groups developing multi-state achievement tests in language arts and math.
Senate Bill 12-046, which would eliminate most zero-tolerance school discipline requirements, give school districts more flexibility in discipline and encourage schools to reduce use of expulsions, suspensions and referrals to police.
Senate Bill 12-047, which would provide state funding to districts that chose to administer basic skills testing such as the Accuplacer to high school students.
Senate Bill 12-164, which would modernize state regulation of for-profit colleges that offer bachelors and graduate degrees and add some consumer protections for students.
Here’s what the Senate did this afternoon to save them:
The texts of discipline and Accuplacer bills were added to House Bill 12-1345, the 2012-13 school funding bill, which then got 27-8 final approval.
The content of the multi-state testing bill was added to House Bill 12-1240, an omnibus cleanup bill of various education laws. The revised bill passed 35-0.
And the text of the higher education regulation bill was added to House Bill 12-1155, another higher ed measure that originally dealt with remediation procedures. It passed 35-0.
The amendments were offered by various members of the Senate Education Committee from both parties. There was no debate on any of the changes.
Colorado has relatively strict rules that restrict bill content to the subject listed in a bill’s title. But lawmakers and staff members determined that the titles of the three bills were broad enough to accommodate the orphan measures.
In a related development, an emotional Gov. John Hickenlooper announced this afternoon that he will call a special session of the legislature to reconsider civil unions and perhaps other orphan bills. If the three bills amended by the Senate are approved by the House, there would be no need for those issues, nor any other education issues, to be included in the special session.
The state constitution requires that bills receive preliminary and final floor consideration on different days. All of the orphan bills were scheduled for preliminary consideration Tuesday, meaning they had to pass by midnight in order to receive final votes today, the last day of the 2012 session. A total of 31 bills suffered the same fate, according to our partners at State Bill Colorado.
Senate Bill 12-068, the proposed ban on added trans fats in school foods, did get preliminary House approval Tuesday evening.
House Republican leaders didn’t want to bring the civil unions bill to the floor, where it was expected to pass. The game of political chicken with Democrats lead to a recess that kept representatives off the floor for much of Tuesday evening, running out the clock for civil unions and the other bills.