Pension Revamp, School Vouchers, Immigrant Tuition Struggling In Early Weeks Of Session

Mar 21, 2014

It’s still early in the 2014 lawmaking session, but already gaps between the House and Senate are starting to emerge.

The Legislature has passed some high-priority bills, but other proposals are starting to stall out.

House and Senate leaders have signed off on packages cracking down on sex offenders, and an election year vehicle registration fee rollback is on its way to the governor who’s touted it on the campaign trail. But other big plans don’t have as certain a future. Legislative leaders promised an expansion of the state’s corporate tax scholarship program, but that has fizzled out after the House refused to sign on to additional testing requirements for voucher students. And a plan to give the children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition may be in trouble in the Senate because that chamber’s leaders oppose it. House Speaker Will Weatherford:

“If given the opportunity to present the bill on the floor, I believe it would be successful, but that’s not up to me and I don’t control it," he said about the tuition bill's prospects in the Senate.

The chambers are also split on changes to the formula used by the state university system governing board to give extra money to public universities. A proposed revamp to the state retirement system is also in flux.