Politics & Government

Under the Dome: Wednesday, April 15, the 94th day of the 105-day legislative session


“They’re in contempt of court. They have to do something that gets them off the hook. I think it’s got to be bigger than what’s out there today to get them off the hook.”

– Randy Dorn, state superintendent of instruction, calling on the Legislature to add $2.2 billion to school spending to meet the state Supreme Court’s order to fully fund basic education. That’s $800-900 million more than legislative budgets propose.


State schools chief Randy Dorn announced Tuesday a proposal to answer part of a landmark state Supreme Court decision on education funding by, in part, shifting costs now supported by local school district levies to the state. Lawmakers plan to announce their own plans for such a transfer, commonly called a “levy swap,” later this week.

Dorn also called for funding all-day kindergarten and class size reductions in K-3, and partially funding the class-size reductions mandated by Initiative 1351 for higher grades. Another piece of his plan would initiate statewide collective bargaining for teacher pay and benefits.


Wednesday at 5 p.m. marks the deadline for the House and Senate to vote on policy bills that came to them from the opposing chamber. As such, both chambers have scheduled floor action in the morning, with the House convening at 10 a.m. and the Senate at 9 a.m.

Bills that relate to the state budget are exempt from Wednesday’s cutoff deadline and can advance at any point later in the session.


A handful of committees will meet to receive briefings and to make plans for the interim. The House and Senate also plan floor sessions, possibly extending into the evening.


The Libertarian Party plans a tax-day protest Wednesday beginning at noon on the north steps of the Legislative Building.