Senate Surrenders to House, Passes Devastating Education Bill

Senators debated the sweeping conforming bill for three and a half hours Monday night. In the end, the vote split the Senate 20-18 with three Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats. A tie vote would have killed the bill.

Many spoke passionately about the break down of the democratic process when Senate President Negron and House Speaker Corcoran met in secret on Friday and hammered out a 277 page bill. Their privately negotiated deal included recess and less testing in an eleventh hour attempt to create a package that would be hard for Governor Scott to veto.

Senator Simmons decried the bill and urged fellow members to vote their conscious. When considering their vote, he urged them to remember, “We are the Senate.” Despite the loss, he and others promised to return in September during committee weeks to fix the bad parts of the bill.

Although the proposal gives elementary students recess, rolls back testing and eliminates the use of VAM, the charter school provisions, the loss of  and the funding cuts will be devastating to public schools. Senator Farmer spoke eloquently and noted this bill will take Florida down the path of privatization for our public schools.

Here’s how they voted:

Yes         Senator Dennis Baxley

Yes         Senator Aaron Bean

Yes         Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto

No          Senator Lauren Book

No          Senator  Randolph Bracy

Yes         Senator Rob Bradley

Yes         Senator Jeff Brandes

No          Senator Oscar Braynon

Yes         Senator Doug Broxson

No          Senator Daphne Campbell

No          Senator  Jeff Clemens

No          Senator Gary Farmer

Yes         Senator Anitere Flores

Yes         Senator George Gainer

Yes         Senator Bill Galvano

No          Senator  Rene Garcia

No          Senator Audrey Gibson

No          Senator  Denise Grimsley

Absent Senator Dorothy L. Hukill

Yes         Senator Travis Hutson

Yes         Senator Jack Latvala

Yes         Senator Tom Lee

Yes         Senator Debbie Mayfield

No          Senator Bill Montford

Yes         Senate President Joe Negron

Yes         Senator  Kathleen Passidomo

Yes         Senator  Keith Perry

No          Senator Bobby Powell

No          Senator Kevin Rader

Yes         Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez

No          Senator Darryl Rouson

No          Senator David Simmons

Yes         Senator Wilton Simpson

Yes         Senator   Kelli Stargel

Yes         Senator Greg Steube

No          Senator Linda Stewart

No          Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr.

No          Senator  Victor M. Torres, Jr.

Yes         Senator Dana Young