6-13-16 – The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

by Rob Roper

So, legislative leadership has some excuses to defend the Kabuki Theater surrounding the veto of S.230, the renewable energy siting bill, and its replacement (S.260), introduced and passed by both chambers in about ten hours during an extra special day of activity.

They say all this last minute activity was necessary because, primarily, some language in S.230 was “unclear”. The Public Service Board looked at the bill and indicated that they might not interpret it as the legislature intended. Better pull out all the stops to create a fix before anything unintended happens! Okay.

So how is this different from the school choice language in Act 46? Many if not most legislators agreed to Act 46 because specific language in the law was intended to protect school traditional choice towns if they chose to merge with district that operate with public schools. Section 4 says the law, “shall not require the district to limit the options available to students if it ceases to exist as a discrete entity and realigns into a supervisory district or union school district.”

The State Board of Education, however, interpreted the law differently than the legislature intended, saying, no, operating and choice districts may not merge unless school choice districts give up choice or the operating district closes its public school. That’s a big problem. So, did the legislature pull out all the stops to fix this Act 46 mess?

Nope. Wouldn’t lift a finger.

Even though this mess they knew about months before the legislative session began, and had the entire legislative session to fix (not just one hurried extra day), they did nothing to keep their promises to protect school choice.

They did act with lighting speed to raise the spending thresholds put in place control school spending and, therefore, property taxes – a “fix” that actually undermined the intent of the original Act 46 legislation, but this… nothing.

The only consistency displayed in this series of events is that the majority does what its political cronies want it to. The renewable energy donors wanted the siting bill “fixed”. It was fixed. The public school monopoly wanted the caps in Act 46 “fixed.” They were fixed. The public school monopoly did not what the school choice protections clarified in Act 46, so they were left to “play out.”

For those who think the system is rigged, you’re correct. And this is how.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Bulmer June 17, 2016 at 9:57 pm

These people are so caught up in foisting there agenda on us they could care less about laws or the will of the people. If a law is passed they do not like, they simply “interpret” it as they see fit regardless of the intent or text. In November, we have a golden opportunity to rectify the situation!!!! Come out and vote for fair minded, thoughtful Republicans!!!!!

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