** GLMA Legislative Update **
Friday, January 30th marks day 10 of the 2008 session. This week, the Senate Education Committee postponed a meeting that was to take place on Wednesday, while the House Education and House Appropriations Education committees met on Thursday.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Fran Millar (R – Dunwoody) while Chairman Brooks Coleman (R – Duluth) is out recovering from health issues, assigned the following legislation to subcommittees:
Academic Achievement Subcommittee
HB 149 by Rep. Jan Jones – Move on When Ready Act
HB 215 by Rep. Steve Davis – Graduating Everyone Matters Act
Academic Support Subcommittee
HB 161 by Rep. Ben Harbin – regarding high school travel restrictions on interscholastic competitions
HB 229 by Rep. Brooks Coleman – Student Health and Physical Education Act
The House Appropriations Education Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Edward Lindsey (R – Atlanta), reviewed the Governor’s proposed FY 09 amended budget as presented by the Department of Education. Though the Department and Committee discussed each program facing changes in the amended FY 09 budget, the biggest concerns lie with the FY 10 budget. We expect testimony on the FY 09 budget to take place next week in the House subcommittee. A date for review of the FY 10 budget has not yet been set by the House subcommittee. The Senate Appropriations Education Subcommittee will also review the FY 09 amended budget next week.
GLMA Legislative Action Plan
We heard this afternoon that the Governors legislative package was to appear today. Once the legislation is available, we will forward it to you. Until then, the following is a suggested plan of action for the coming week:
1. Contact your local legislators. There is no time like the present to voice your concerns, as a constituent, to your legislators. For example, share your experiences as a media specialist and teacher and how, if the expenditure controls are waived, this will impact your students. Don’t know your legislators? Find them HERE.
– Susan Grigsby, GLMA President, states, “Advocacy is education. We advocate for understanding. We know times are tight and everyone is having to make due with less. However, please explain to me how we are expected to graduate students into a 21st century world with underfunded, outdated, and underused libraries? Better yet, explain it to the members of the education committees who can help make sure our expenditure controls remain intact.”
2. Have members ready to examine the Governor’s legislative package when it is dropped. This is where we expect to find language waiving the media center expenditure controls. In addition, members should be prepared to review other education legislation and any changes the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees begin to make on the amended FY 09 and FY 10 budgets.
3. Register for Georgia Library Day — Thursday, February 26th! This is a wonderful program where you will have face-to-face access to legislators. You may even get to sit in on an education committee hearing! To download a registration form, click here. The registration deadline is February 13th.
Until next week, stay tuned!
Lasa & Michelle