Conference Committee Begins Meeting. The education funding and policy conference committee began its proceedings this afternoon. There isn't a whole lot to report. The bulk of the committee time was devoted to going through the side-by-side comparison of the bills. They didn't get all the way through that task, leaving a bit of staff description of the various provisions in each bill for tomorrow. Senator Wiger has the gavel tomorrow and announced that he is planning to convene the meeting at approximately 2:00 PM, floor session willing. Senator Wiger wants to take testimony on several Senate initiatives that are not in the House bill, particularly school facilities funding and the elimination of the cap on the QComp appropriation (which would allow the remaining districts in the state who are not participating in the alternative compensation program the opportunity to do so).
We are 13 days away from the constitutional adjournment date for the regular session and a lot is going to have to get done in a hurry if a special session is going to be avoided. That's not to say it can't be done. Once the targets are set, things could fall together rather quickly. There isn't a ton of policy in the education bills, so money questions will dominate the discussion in that conference committee to an even heavier degree than they usually do. We'll have to see and I'll fill you in as it happens.