Week in Review > Week in Review 5-27-2022

Posted by on May 27th, 2022


Consideration of the FY23-24 capital appropriations proposal kicked off Tuesday in the General Assembly as Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks testified in the finance committees of both houses. Murnieks provided an overview of the proposal, although the actual legislation is not yet available. Placeholder bills have been introduced in both houses — SB343 (Dolan) and HB687 (Oelslager). Murnieks indicated discussions were continuing between the administration and Legislature in areas such the state’s tax structure, the scope and amount of the community projects portion of the proposal and funding for jails. Murnieks said the proposal totals $3.3 billion, with $2.7 billion of that in GRF-backed debt funding and another $594 million coming from non-GRF backed bonds and other sources, include approximately $300 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. She assured the committees that the state remains “well under the constitutional five percent limitation on debt service as a percent of revenue” with the sale of bonds anticipated to support this capital proposal. She told Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) that it stands at 3.6 percent now. 


Schools would no longer be required to retain third grade students who cannot reach the cut score on state English tests under legislation that passed the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee unanimously Wednesday. The retention mandate did draw a defense from the Fordham Institute in final testimony on the bill, but it did not sway the committee. The 11 members present at Tuesday’s committee meeting voted to report out HB497 (Manning-Robinson), sponsored by the committee chair, Rep. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), and the ranking member, Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon). The legislation keeps the requirement that schools offer intervention and remediation to students reading below grade level, but would repeal the retention mandate for this year’s third graders and call for one administration of the third grade English tests instead of two. 

Legislation to require public posting of teaching materials would build public trust and affirm good practices already enacted in many schools, proponents argued Tuesday in the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee. The committee took proponent testimony on HB529 (Hillyer-Roemer), which the sponsors described as a response to contentious local school board meetings and a tool to reduce misunderstanding on what is or isn’t being taught. Lawmakers have also been considering multiple bills that would bar instruction on specific “divisive” concepts, but those have been assigned to the House State and Local Government Committee. Witnesses included two local school board members and two Arizona-based advocates representing the Goldwater Institute and FreedomWorks.

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