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Description: 2015: The Georgia Session | 2015: The Kentucky Session | 2015: The Mississippi Session | 2015: The Virginia Session | 2015: The West Virginia Session | Tracking Legislation in the States | National Center

Public Policy Notes S outhe r n E a r ly C hild hood As s o ci a tio n We re All in Session in 2015 All of the SECA states have legislatures that are in session in 2015. Some are still in session and some states have completed (or will shortly complete) their work. Following is a list of dates that your state legislature convened and adjourned or is estimated to adjourn. Alabama March 3 2015-May 11 2015 (est) Arkansas January 12 2015-April 22 2015 Florida March 3 2015-May 1 2015 (est) Georgia (adjourned) January 12 2015-April 3 2015 Kentucky (adjourned) January 6 2015-March 25 2015 Louisiana April 27 2015-June 11 2015 (est) Mississippi (adjourned) January 1 2015-April 2 2015 The Georgia Legislature celebrates the end of the 2015 session. Photo retrieved from http www.myajc.com gallery news state-regional-govt-politics sine-die-2015-georgialegislature gCRxm all 4 8 15 April 2015 Public Policy Notes Inside this issue 2015 The Georgia 2 Session 2015 The Kentucky Session 2 2015 The 2 Mississippi Session 2015 The Virginia 3 Session 2015 The West Virginia Session Tracking Legislation in the States National Center 3 3 4 North Carolina January 14 2015-June 30 2015 (est) Oklahoma February 2 2015-May 29 2015 (est) South Carolina January 13 2015-June 4 2015 (est) Tennessee January 13 2015-April 17 2015 (est) Texas January 13 2015-June 1 2015 (est) Virginia (adjourned) January 14 2015February 28 2015 (Reconvened session will be April 15 2015) West Virginia (adjourned) January 14 2015March 14 2015 I Want to Know More If you wish to locate information on your state legislature click on your state s name in the article and it will take you to the We ll highlight information on pages 2 and state s website. For the articles on pages 2-3 3 of this newsletter about bills and laws in click on the bill numthose states whose legis- bers and you ll access a latures have adjourned. summary of the legislation. For information In future newsletters on how to track a bill we ll follow the other see the article on page states. 3. 2015 The Georgia Legislative Session Some Acts Bills to Note HB 1 Called Haleigh s Act this bill received national attention. It legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. HB 91 This bill eliminated the Georgia High School Graduation Test. HB 198 This bill requires that all certificated school personnel have annual suicide prevention training. HB 401 This bill contained a variety of amendments to the Georgia Code concerning criminal background checks and child care licensing. It included a new definition of family child care and new nomenclature for both child care and family child care. They are now referenced as child care learning centers and family child care learning homes in Georgia code. It also included provisions for early learning support centers that are identified as agencies that provide temporary staffing for early learning programs. SB 156 This bill allows the State Charter Schools Commission to create a non-profit foundation to support its work. 2015 The Kentucky Legislative Session Some Acts Bills to Note SB 54 This act gives priority access to drug treatment programs for pregnant women. SB 75 This act adds krabbe disease testing to the mandatory newborn screening. SB 119 This act requires local school boards to adopt mandatory child abuse training for staff. HB 234 This act establishes a schedule for the implementation of a Quality Rating System and adds reporting requirements for the Early Childhood Advisory Council. HB 315 This act amends the child restraint requirements for children in motor vehicles requiring children under the age of 9 be placed in booster seats. HB 429 This act establishes the Kentucky Child Care Advisory Council. It is to be comprised of providers parents and others and is charged with providing recommendations on state child care licensing requirements. 2015 The Mississippi Legislative Session Some Acts Bills to Note HB 464 This bill authorizes Mississippi to join the Compact for Education and become a member of the Education Commission of the States. HB 469 Creates the New Start School program that allows state intervention in failing districts. HB 646 Creates the Task Force on the Future of Gifted Education. HB 885 Requires insurance coverage for treatment of autism. SB 2161 Creates the Mississippi Commission on College & Career Readiness that is charged with determining a replacement for the Common Core standards. SB 2191 Creates the Districts of Innovation program that will recognize and designate exemplary school districts. SB 2558 Creates a method to transiPublic Policy Notes tion state managed school districts back to local control. SB 2695 Creates the Education Scholarship Accounts program for children with special needs. (For more information on these programs access the March 2015 issue of Public Policy Notes p. 3.) Click here for a list of all bills introduced in 2015. 2015 The Virginia Legislative Session Some Acts Bills to Note HB 1320 Prohibits the Board of Education from requiring teachers seeking licensure renewal to satisfy any renewal requirements by completing coursework and earning credit at an institution of higher education. The Board of Education can require professional development credits for renewal. HB 1570 Requires national criminal history fingerprint background checks in child care centers and child care homes. HB 1714 Permits the Board of Education to require each student to take a Standards of Learning assessment in science after the student receives instruction in the grade six science life science and physical science Standards of Learning and before the student completes grade eight. The current requirement is testing in grade eight. HB 1752 & SB 724 Prohibits the Board of Education from replacing the Standards of Learning with Common Core Standards without the consent of the General Assembly. Click here for a complete list of all bills passed in the 2015 session. 2015 The West Virginia Legislative Session Some Acts Bills to Note SB 19 This bill specified minimum early childhood program instruction days. The bill was vetoed by the Governor. SB 27 Revised sanctions pertaining to participation in the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program. SB 286 This bill made changes to the requirements for mandatory childhood immunizations. HB 2025 Prohibits certain sex offenders from loitering within one thousand feet of a school or child care facility. HB 2527 Creates a Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children. HB 2902 Created the West Virginia ABLE program an education savings account for children with disabilities. (For more information on this program see the March 2015 issue of Public Policy Notes p. 3.) Click here to see a list of all bills passed in the 2015 session. Tracking Legislation in the States CQ Roll Call has published a guide How to Track State Legislation A Guide to Understanding the Process that provides insights into how to track and find legislation at the state level. It includes the following chapters. How to Start Tracking After Final Passage The guide is a simple explanation of how the system works and where you can go to find resources to help you begin your work at the state level. Although this guide is available for free as a download you must register in order to receive the download. CQ Roll Call also provides new fee based services called State Track and CQ State Report. For those of us who participate on a limited level there are many other free resources available such as your state advocacy groups and your legislative websites. Page 3 Understand the System Every State is Different How Bills Move The Committee Process Volume 8 Issue 4 Southern Early Childhood Association 1123 S. University Ste 255 Little Rock AR 72204 Phone 800-305-SECA Fax 501-227-5297 E-mail info southernearlychildhood.org www.southernearlychildhood.org How to Use Public Policy Notes If you re interested in advocacy one of the most effective tools that you can have is access to information. This newsletter is provided as a service to locate and share information that we think will be helpful to you in your work at the state level and to keep you updated on what s happening in public policy. You ll find information that Compares your state to other SECA states--how you re doing what issues you have in common what the hot topics are in your states. Brings the national scene to your fingertips and gives you a perspective on how national events might impact you...You ll also receive information about where to find additional information. We hope you ll find it helpful. Children need you to be their voice in your community and state. This monthly newsletter is produced by Glenda Bean SECA Executive Director. SECA strives to provide non-partisan and non-biased information A Voice for Southern Children that is of interest to early childhood educators. Sign up at http www.southernearlychildhood.org policy_newsletter_sign.php to receive notice of its availability each month. Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center Goes to Kentucky On March 19th Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky-Lexington officials to announce the establishment of the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The Center will use cuttingedge solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in states with the highest number of persistently poor rural counties. Currently about 85 percent of all persistently poor counties in the United States are in rural areas and children are one of the most vulnerable groups living in rural areas. With USDA s investment of 2.5 million the Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center will administer and evaluate a series of sub-grants targeted to as many as 30 rural areas with high poverty rates in up to 15 states. The communities will use the funds to better coordinate existing child nutrition programs and create solutions to target child food insecurity. The University of Kentucky will partner with Altarum Institute and the Southern Rural Development Center to develop the center. Source USDA News Release 0069.15 www.usda.gov. One out of four kids in rural Ameri- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack UKAg Dean Nancy Cox and Gov. Steve Beshear announce the new center at UK. PHOTO Steve Patton UK Agricultural Communications Retrieved from www.news.ca.uky.edu 4 9 15 ca are food-insecure U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said during a phone interview . The purpose of this center is to establish best practices to establish strategies that will work to address these unique challenges and create greater awareness on the part of policy makers. Source www.kentucky.com The initial partnership will encompass 4 years.