Friday, June 27, 2014
DID WE PASS THE BILL YET?
House Bill 1013 got the votes to get out of Rules Committee today! Getting it out of Rules gives us confidence that we have the vote in the House-- or they would have just let it sit until it dies in November. The persistent calls and emails you made asking them to sign on or support the bill made a difference. Otherwise, the risk of our bill getting a down vote would have been unfavorable to our cause.
Before a vote of passage occurs, it is considered by the House of Representatives on 3 separate legislative days. Remember that the legislature has 3,000 bills and 1,000 amendments this session. These days of consideration allows them the opportunity to learn all they can about any particular bill.
The first day of consideration was on June 4, when it was voted out of House Education Committee and re-committed to Rules Committee. Rep. Gillen amended the bill to include an optional diploma form from the Pennsylvania Department of Education -- a recommendation he received from the PDE.
Today was the second day of consideration. There were 18 proposed amendments altogether. Only 4 were heard on the floor and only 1 was adopted into the new text; the rest of the proposals were rejected as out of order. That amendment to HB1013 includes the recognition of diploma-granting organizations within the statute, and that's welcome progress to end the second day of consideration.
The House members will be conducting non-voting meetings on Saturday. They will resume voting on Sunday at 5:00 PM. We will post it here when we find out the schedule. The third day of consideration will involve more debates but it helps raise the credibility of the bill and leads to final passage vote in the House.
"Will the bill be law, then?"
Not yet, but almost! It just has to go through the Senate Education Committee first before the full Senate Chamber, then on to the Governor's desk to be signed into law.
Realistically speaking, the process in the Senate will have to wait until the General Assembly returns after summer recess. But we must get it out of the House within the next 2 days to avoid a tougher going in the fall.
Mike Folmer, Senate Ed Com Chair, has been prepped for HB1013 and plans to concur it in the Senate - instead of introducing a Senate version - since the bill has already gone this far.
We have also done preliminary work with the Governor introducing HB1013 to his education and policy staffers. To help speed up the process - at least avoid it from getting bogged down in the legislature - we are conducting a petition. We ask everyone to sign and share it. The petition to the Pennsylvania Governor: Insist that the General Assembly bring House Bill 1013 to his desk for his signature prior to October 15.
MORE ACTION ITEMS:
The goal remains - getting the vote. The more votes we get, the stronger the message becomes that homeschooling works and homeschoolers should be liberated from the shackles of bureaucracy. Keep the phone calls and emails going out especially if YOUR Representative in not on this list yet. Then, let's not forget to thank those who are on the list. Our gratitude positions us for - with Gods grace - more legislative favor.
More importantly, pray. Ungodly forces and our human nature pre-disposed to fear and pride will be our undoing.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1, NIV)