NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — The Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives have passed a new school funding bill that awaits the governor’s signature.
The Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) bill has been hailed by the Department of Education as a form of student-focused public education. The bill marks the first change to school funding in Tennessee in more than 30 years. Governor Bill Lee welcomed the passage of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Bill.
But in the House yesterday, when amendments were being presented, all conversation stopped and it was put to a vote. After a motion to pass an amendment by Democratic Rep. Mike Stewart was tabled, Republican Rep. Todd Warner asked the previous question.
You hear loud voices in the background, including someone shouting “Objection”, but the sound drops out of the stream, as Speaker Cameron Sexton confers with the Clerk.
President Sexton then says there is an objection and they vote on the previous question. After the vote, the chair and clerk are asked whether the vote on the previous question was on the amendments or on the bill as a whole and they are told that the question was on the bill.
“So all the amendments and discussions on this most important bill have just been halted? asked Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis. “Is that what we say?” Is this what we tell the citizens of the State of Tennessee? »
“Mr. Speaker, our rules state that if the question prevails over the main motion, it will have the effect of preventing any future amendment and ending any debate,” explained Deputy Chief Clerk Daniel Hicks.
Tennessee House Minority Leader Karen Camper issued a statement late Wednesday, expressing her disappointment at the sudden end of debate on the TISA bill.
“It’s hard to express how heartbreaking it was when the TISA debate ended prematurely,” Camper said. “This is a truly monumental bill. Educating our children is one of the most important things we do as a legislature and as a state. How can you cut short the debate when our fellow citizens are asking so many questions about this? They send us to Nashville to ask these questions on their behalf. Today, their voices have been silenced, and it’s not fair to do this to the taxpayers of Tennesse.
This bill had already passed the Senate, so it is likely that Governor Bill Lee will approve this, as it has been a great initiative on his part, all year.
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