Cross-over of bills this week; budget, school finance work remains

Jessica Robinson

The 66th Legislative Session is continuing after being shut down for two days last week due to a record-breaking snowstorm.

Senator Ed Cooper said last week and this week have been and will be consumed with the state budget and school finance. There is a lot of work to be done on both, he said.

Cooper said a bill that has stirred much feedback is SF 81 —Second Amendment Preservation Act.

“The bill as written had some serious issues,” he said. “We passed it out of Judiciary Committee last week.”

According to Cooper, the sponsors brought some excellent amendments to the Committee of the Whole on Monday. He added there are still some questions regarding law enforcement, municipalities, counties, agencies and civil liabilities. Also noted by the senator were some constitutional questions being looked into.

“The sponsor and Senate are working together to get this very important bill passed,” he said.

Another bill Cooper notes on is SF 145 Runoff Elections. If passed, a runoff election would be required after a primary election for specific offices when no candidate receives the majority vote.

Cooper said it appears to have been brought forward a little early. He added that it puts time constraints on county clerks that are not feasible. The bill was scheduled to be heard for third reading on Wednesday.

SF 66 — Slayers Bill passed out of the Senate and was scheduled to be heard in the House this week. This bill was sponsored by Cooper and, if passed, specifies that taking the life of another joint tenant precludes survivorship benefits.

Crossover of the bills is occurring this week. Cooper noted that they were finishing up all general files on Monday. He added there would be a few bills that time did not allow consideration. According to Cooper, those bills will likely be pushed into the next session.

“I’d really like to thank all the constituents of Senate District 20 for the honor of serving you in the Senate,” said Cooper. “It has been a great learning opportunity. I think we have done some really good things to date. As we continue to analyze the budget and school funding, we are looking at some very late nights and hard decisions.”

Cooper said he has gotten great input from all over the district. “Please continue to contact me with ideas, concerns, and general input. It’s invaluable,” he added.