NewsLocal News / February 25, 2014

Senate Amends Pre-K Bill

John Sittler - TheStatehouseFile.com
Senate Amends Pre-K Bill

The Indiana Senate shot down two proposed amendments to the pre-K education bill Monday, before finally accepting an amendment to add another member to the study commission.

Sen. John Broden, D-South Bend, authored all three of the amendments to House Bill 1004.

Broden’s initial amendment looked to add a representative from the State Department of Health to the study committee. He said that would fulfill a federal requirement that would allow the state to receive up to $40 million in federal funds over the next two years.

But Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said the amendment “puts the cart before the horse” and was unnecessary, considering Indiana does not even have the early education program yet.

The amendment was defeated 35-12.

Broden also offered an amendment that would replace the pilot program that was originally in the bill passed by the House. The program was later removed by the Senate Education Committee. The program would have consisted of a mix of urban and rural counties, but was voted down 36-11 after Kenley noted the program’s $10 million per year price tag.

Broden’s final effort would add a member from the Early Learning Advisory Committee. He said this is a logical step because the Early Learning Advisory Committee has already studied many of the points in HB 1004.

“Why not learn from their expertise, as well, and include them as part of this process,” he said.

The amendment was passed by consent.

The bill is expected to be voted on by the full Senate later this week.

John Sittler is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.