The day began with the Senate passing SB 386 Special Needs voucher bill 33-22.  Only two repubs voting against it: Sen Brandon Beach and Sen. Ellis Black.  One Democrat voting for the bill was Sen Donzella James.  The tone of the Senate at the time of the vote was very subdued. (not usually seen unless it is a done deal) Thank you to those of you who did reach out to your local Senators and expressed your thoughts. We had many circle back to let us know they heard from many of you. We will now work the House side of the isle to see what we can do. Some amendments were added to the bill mainly for reporting out of some of the voucher students and some achievement data.  Not enough to put the private schools that accept the voucher on par with public schools receiving the same public funds.

Here is SB 386 recorded vote: 33-22

Y Albers                    Y Dolezal                   Y Hill                           Y Ligon                     Y Robertson          Y Unterman

Y Anderson L.          Y Dugan                    Y Huffstetler              N Lucas                     N Seay                    Y Walker

N Anderson,  T.        Y Ginn                        N Jackson                   Y Martin                   N Sims                    Y Waston

N Beach                    Y Gooch                     Y Jones, B.                  Y Miller                     Y Stone                    Y Wilkinson

N Black                      Y Harbin                    N Jones, E.                  Y Mullis                    Y Strickland            N Williams

Y Brass                       N Harbison               N Jones, N.                 N Orock                    Y Summers

Y Burke                      Y Harper                    N Jordan                    N Parent                    N Tate

N Butler                     N Harrell                   N Karinshak               Y Payne                     Y Thompson

Y Cowsert                  Y Heath                      Y  Kennedy                 N Rahman                 Y Tillery

N Davenport             N Henson                   Y Kilpatrick                N Rhett                       -Tippins

The FY 21 Budget was thoroughly debated in the House.  It passed the House 134-35 with the $1000 teacher raise intact and the 5% raises for transportation and nutrition personnel. I will not rehash what I sent to you yesterday until I see how the budget is treated on the Senate side. I will follow it closely as it moves over to the Senate.  Again, I believe this is much closer to the final version then previous iterations.

The tax cut bill passed the House floor today so HB 949 takes a chunk out of future state revenue.  I predict (which i rarely do) the politicians will be scratching their heads in the 2021 session wondering why state revenues is lower than projections.

Other bills passed House Education committee earlier this evening but I will wait and see if they move at all.

Have a good night!

Next legislative day #28 (crossover) will be Thursday, March 12, 2020. should be action packed!

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