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Wednesday Churn: Bottle bill dead

Updated 4:45 p.m. – It took more than three hours of testimony and debate, but the House State Affairs Committee voted 5-4 this afternoon to kill House Bill 11-1247, the so-called bottle bill.

The meeting ended with a little tiff between one Republican and three Democrats over whether the schoolchildren who supported the bill had been “used” by the measure’s sponsor. Check EdNews later for full coverage.


What’s churning:

Education advocates are digging everywhere to find spare change for school spending, and one plan is a bottle deposit and recycling bill proposed by freshman Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver and Sen. Gail Schwartz of Snowmass.

House Bill 11-1247 has its first hearing at 1:30 p.m. today in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. Supporters, including the sponsors, school kids from Salida and Denver, and CEA President Beverly Ingle, will rally on the Capitol’s west steps at 11:45 a.m.

A fiscal analysis of the bill estimates it would raise $79 million in the first year, with some $28.8 million flowing to the State Education Fund.

Regular readers of EdNews legislative coverage will know that the state affairs committee is where majority leaders traditionally send bills to die. We won’t be surprised if that’s what happens with HB 11-1247.

In case you missed it, the ASSET bill that would make undocumented students eligible for cheaper tuition at state colleges and universities passed a second Senate committee Tuesday, but not until after 90 minutes of sometimes obscure discussion. See our Tuesday legislative roundup.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 4-3 – Democrats for, Republicans against – to pass the bill on to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate Education Committee passed the bill last week on a 5-2 party-line vote after nearly three hours of testimony and debate.

What’s on tap:

The Capital Construction Assistance Board, which administer the BEST school construction and renovation program, meets from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in room 101 at the Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave. The panel will discuss several policy issues but has no decision items scheduled. Agenda.

The Douglas County School District continues to gather public input on its school choice recommendations, including vouchers, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight at Cimarron Middle School, 12130 Canterberry Parkway in Parker. The last of the three meetings is tomorrow, same time, at Castle Rock Middle School, 2575 Meadows Blvd. in Castle Rock.

Learn more about the proposed options certificates and the other choice options on recently revamped district web pages. District leaders are expected to present their recommendations to the school board in March.

Good reads from elsewhere: