Posted on Monday, February 5, 2018

General Assembly — Week 4 Update: Feb. 2 2018

Submitted by Ellen Davenport, assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations, VCCS

Many bills which have not been heard in committee or subcommittee, or which have been passed by temporarily so that patrons can work on them, will likely be resolved next week since the date for bills to cross over from the house of origin to the other house is Tuesday, February 13. Budget report-outs from the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee will be the following weekend on February 18. Major decisions on budget items will be finalized in the subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee next week so that all subcommittee recommendations can be reconciled and intersected with the revenue parameters that each committee will be using. 

Again this week, the topic of Medicaid expansion in various forms has dominated the General Assembly. This issue is significant because funding to support Medicaid expansion is interwoven into former Governor McAuliffe’s introduced budget. Yesterday, SB 915 passed the Senate Education and Health Committee and has been re-referred to Senate Finance. Any similar or related House bill has not yet made it out of committee.  The issue will likely be one of the final items resolved in the 2018 General Assembly. 

TANF for Community College Scholarships Bill Passes Senate

SB 27 (Stanley) was reported on Jan. 31 from the Senate Finance Committee and has passed the Senate. HB 285 (Murphy), the companion House bill, is scheduled to be heard in the higher education subcommittee of the House Education Committee on Feb. 5. Both bills will only be enacted if accompanied by an appropriation.

Dual Enrollment and Transfer Bills

Identical bills HB 3, SB 77, and SB 107 were all heard this week; all bills require SCHEV to consult with the Department of Education and all public institutions of higher education to ensure quality and transferability of dual enrollment courses and re-name those courses which will transfer to four-year institutions as “universal transfer courses.” HB 3 (Landes) passed on first reading on the House floor on Friday, Feb. 2.  SB 77 (Sturdevant) and SB 107 (Suetterlein) were reported from the Higher Education Subcommittee of the Senate Education and Health Committee on Feb. 1 and have been re-referred to Senate Finance. These bills will likely be combined and considered in conjunction with HB 919 (Jones) and SB 631 (Dunnavant). SB 631 was also heard in the Higher Education subcommittee of Senate Education and Health and has been re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  

HB 497 (Bell) was re-heard on January 29 in the Higher Education subcommittee of House Education, but did not advance because there was no motion to report the bill. HB 497 would have stipulated that home-school students pay no more in tuition and fees than public school students for dual enrollment courses. The previous week, the bill did not advance on a 4-4 tie vote. 

Bill List

Please refer to the VCCS Bills List – 2-2-18 for more detail. Bills which have failed, been stricken, or continued (“carried over”) to the 2019 General Assembly session are shaded in red. Next week, we will only include the bills that are still alive.'

Laura Osberger

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