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Senate Committee Summary-S.574

Posted by Matthew O'Leary on May 27, 2015 at 4:08 PM

The session started off slow enough. People running late due to traffic was no new phenomenon, but today a fuel tanker crashed and exploded near St. Andrews, shutting down the interstate just a few miles north of downtown.

Still, S. 574 was third on the agenda, and appointments were over by 10:30. The sexual education reform bill, first introduced in March, would emphasize "medical accuracy", and education programs that remained noncompliant would be penalized. The penalty for noncompliance would be a cut in a percentage of funding, which would remain until the offending school district became compliant. The current definition of sex education, from 1976 codes, omits talk of "medical accuracy", leaving room for interpretation of the science in what is essentially a science class.

By 10:42, the Senate Committee was already prepared to pass S.574, but twice had to be excused for a Senate floor vote. When they returned a few minutes later, the bill was passed to the Senate floor. The comment was made that a minority report would have been placed on the bill had Senator Mike Fair been present. Senator Fair serves on the Education Committee, and has frequently taken extreme conservative positions. Last May, he blocked the bill right before the legislature adjourned, forcing into the next legislative period. The bill had already passed the House by a close 57-53 vote.

Overall it was a successful committee meeting which will hopefully be matched down the road by a successful senate debate.

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