(Charleston) Every painstaking step of education reform in West Virginia is being closely watched by lawmakers and the public.
Today an effort to postpone the bill was shot down in the House of Delegates. This was the first time Senate Bill 451 or what is being called the omnibus education bill has popped up in the House of Delegates since it passed in the Senate just yesterday. And if the rhetoric that erupted is any indication, this won’t be a smooth process Del. Isaac Sponaugle (D – Pendleton) initiated the motion to postpone SB 451 describing the bill like this, “At the end of the day this bill is a pig. I don’t care how much lipstick you’re gonna put on it you’re not gonna make it any prettier you’re not gonna change the public’s perception of Senate Bill 451 so we should vote to postpone indefinitely and go ahead and put this pig to slaughter.”
Majority Leader Del. Amy Summers (R – Taylor) shot back against the motion saying, “On the Senate side we heard about how this bill was rushed through. Now we have an opportunity to send it to several committees and we don’t want to do that.”
The motion to postpone the bill aimed to allow smaller bills to take the place of the omnibus education bill. Ultimately the motion was voted down, which means the omnibus education bill will stay an omnibus. The bill now moves to committees starting with the Education Committee. Education Committee member Del. Ed Evans (D – McDowell) said, “I don’t think it will change hardly at all. I think most of the amendments that will be proposed will be shot down by the majority party.”
But with so much controversy surrounding the bill support may not split evenly across party lines. When the motion to postpone was voted down the vote tally was 52 to 44 with 4 not voting. The party split is 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats.