Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hey Insomniacs. It's 11:50 PM on Sunday, the 20th of May. The Senate has gone home for the evening while the House continues to debate a number of funding bills. Earlier this evening, the conference committee on HF 464 (the mandatory education employee health care pool) met and finished that bill. Unfortunately, the "opt-out" amendment that Senator Betsy Wergin (R-Princeton) put on the bill in the Senate yesterday was struck from the bill during the conference committee's deliberations and the bill will go to the House floor relatively "naked." The Loeffler amendment that was attached in the House yesterday (and supported by SEE) is still on the bill as is the amendment offered by Representative Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester) that protects school districts in the event the pool goes under. It is expected that the bill will pass both the House and Senate, but I believe it is important that each of you should voice your concerns--yay or nay--to your legislators.

But this is the calm before the storm that will be Monday, May 21. The Legislature must adjourn at midnight tomorrow evening and it is going to be a mad rush to get all of the funding bills and the tax bill passed prior to the witching hour.

Rumors are running rampant about the changing face of the education bill. There has been no indication that there will be a major departure from the current framework of the bill, though reports floating through the hallways indicate that attempts are being made to put more money into the second year of the biennium. The Governor is reportedly trying to get funding to expand the QComp program. How this all shakes out is going to be very interesting and tune in tomorrow for reports.

Until then, I can only urge you all to get to bed. You've got to work in the morning.

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