Yesterday, the News Journal posted an article about one of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission redistricting bill that was tabled in the House Education Committee. In the original article, it talked about how the House Republicans and two Democrat State Representatives prevented the bill from moving forward. In the update to the article, it appears State Reps. Sean Matthews and Deb Heffernan are ready to give the bill a full House vote.
“All along, my concerns have been related to funding – and there are still many hurdles to overcome. However, after conversations with my peers and leadership, I am now confident that they are committed to addressing those concerns. For this reason, I will sign the bill out of committee so that it may receive full consideration on the House floor,” Matthews said.
“I agree that this legislation deserves a full hearing in the House,” Heffernan said, while noting she wants more than “structural changes” in the education system.
In the House Education Committee, a majority vote is required for legislation to be released. The committee has 14 members, so 8 votes are needed. Only one of the votes from Heffernan or Matthews would allow the bill to move forward.
The committee will be having a special meeting next Tuesday, June 21st, solely designated towards House Bill 424 at 2:30pm in the House Majority Caucus room, located next to the House chamber. Before the committee can release the bill, a majority vote is required to lift the bill from its tabled status. My hunch is it will be on the House agenda for a full vote on Thursday, June 23rd.
While this is not the legislation that approves the redistricting, it is meant to assure legislators and Delaware citizens that if House Joint Resolution #12, which would approve the redistricting plan, that school boards across the state will not be able to raise school taxes without a referendum.