Politics & Government

April 5, 2014

House rejects compromise on school finance bill

The House sent a strong message to the Senate early Sunday by voting down a school finance bill that was packed with conservative policy changes.

The House sent a strong message to the Senate early Sunday by voting down a school finance bill that was packed with conservative policy changes.

The House had passed a bill with overwhelming bipartisan support on Friday, but a conference committee with Senate leaders Saturday yielded a bill that Democrats and moderate Republicans refused to support.

And enough conservatives also decided that the bill, which would have stripped teachers of due process rights and granted property tax breaks for parents with children in home or private school, went too far.

The bill died 67-55 after hours of debate that didn’t start until 10 p.m. The chamber was packed with teachers from around the state who wore bright red shirts and shouted impassioned pleas to vote “no” on the bill.

The Legislature faces a July 1 deadline from the Supreme Court to fix inequities in school funding, and leaders have promised to find a solution before they adjourn for three weeks.

After the compromise bill failed to pass in the House, conferees from the House and Senate got set to work all night before the House returns early Sunday morning for another try.

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