The older I get, the more I realize how much there’s yet to learn. Life lessons are never-ending and have no age limits (thank goodness). Often, they are achieved through blood, sweat and tears, which makes them more valuable than the newest piece of technology or fancy car parked in the driveway. And, unlike the newest 4G gizmo, their relevance endures through generations.
I won’t get the chance to meet my great, great, great-grandchildren here on earth, but if I did, I’d try to pass along information as timeless as it is valuable. Here’s some of what I’d tell them:
The House and Senate Education bills were released and heard last week. The short news is that the House bill contains more money. The House bill raises the pupil funding formula by 2 percent in year one and 2 percent in year two. The Senate bill raises the pupil funding formula by 1 percent in the first year and 0 percent in the second year. Both bills will fully fund all-day kindergarten in the second year (2014–2015 school year) of the biennium. These amounts make up the bulk of the new spendable revenue.
Both bills will go through the finance and tax committees before going to the floor for a vote. Along the way, amendments are allowed and added, so the bills are constantly changing. Once off the floor, a conference committee made up of members selected from both the House and Senate will meet to combine the two versions into a single E-12 education omnibus bill. The bill returns to the House and the Senate floor for a vote and then goes to the governor. Amendments are not allowed after the bill is out of conference committee.
Dirty little secrets. None of us are completely immune. We all have them – pesky yet irresistible traits or habits or desires we try to hide from everyone except ourselves. Some of us even attempt to shield the truth from the person staring back at us in the mirror. We justify our behavior. It isn’t hurting anyone. I’ll quit soon. The jeans must have shrunk in the wash. It looks more blond than gray. I’ll work out tomorrow. Just five more minutes. One more potato chip and I’ll be done. For good. For sure. Forever.
Our dirty little secrets are as unique as each of us. They come in various shapes, sizes and colors. Mine is a two-pound brick of artificially colored orange satisfaction, although I’ve cavorted with similar stuff in a can or jar.
Legislative committees begin work on appropriations bills:
This week the legislature officially returned from its weeklong Easter/Passover break.
Constitutionally the legislature must adjourn on or before May 20. With a firm deadline and only seven weeks remaining, the House and Senate have been busy this week with many committees returning to their work.
The focus of the session now turns to the finance committees that will create the various omnibus funding bills and to the House and Senate Tax Committees that will create the taxing mechanisms to pay for the funding bills. We expect most action to begin following the Third Deadline, which is the deadline for all funding and tax bills to reach the House and Senate floor in their respective bodies. The Third Deadline is Friday, April 19.
For the last three years I’ve avoided holidays. Not the holidays in December. Every single holiday – all 12 months of them. This behavior stems from a psychological compensation issue (as most things do).
Some people thrive on holiday hoopla – and not only those who are able to grow long white beards or are in possession of a size XL bunny suit. I’m talking, of course, about teachers.