Key House committee delays vote on school choice bill, citing last-minute amendments

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The House Education Committee delayed the vote on SB 193, the universal voucher bill, on November 8. From the Union Leader:

Despite an aggressive push by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, the Republican majority on the House Education Committee balked at voting on a school-choice bill that would direct state aid for education to private schools through “education freedom savings accounts.”

Ladd joined Sununu Tuesday in a news conference surrounded by school-choice advocates and their children, where the governor declared the measure one of his top priorities and urged the full committee to move the bill forward to the full House with an “ought to pass” recommendation.

A series of last-minute amendments, some introduced at the governor’s request, prompted some Republicans on the committee to request more time for review.

After a brief caucus with Republican members, Ladd announced that any vote on the bill would be put off until Tuesday.

The nine-page amendment, which was being drafted Tuesday, tightened up eligibility for the program, based on family income and other criteria.

The amendment contains complicated language that would restrict eligibility for the scholarships to households with family income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, although that barrier could be overcome by other criteria, such as students with “individual education plans,” or students who were unsuccessful in their application to a charter school.

View the amendment, transcribed by Reaching Higher NH, here. The committee will vote on the bill on Tuesday, November 14 at an Executive Session in LOB 206-208 at 10:00 AM. If you’re interested in contacting the committee, email them at HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us or find their individual contact information (including phone numbers) here.

Source: Key House committee delays vote on school choice bill, citing last-minute amendments | Union Leader