End messy, but 2012 session had many accomplishments
The inglorious end to the 2012 legislative session and the special session required to tie up loose ends have garnered much attention. While that is warranted, we don't want it to overshadow what was otherwise a productive 120 days at the Capitol.
Given the realities of an election year and the continued effects of the Great Recession, most observers expected an acrimonious and highly partisan session from day one. But for the most part, lawmakers worked together quite well and accomplished a great deal.
Our end-of-session edition of The Opportunity News reviews many of those accomplishments, with a focus on the Bell's major bills. Here's a snapshot of what we see as important work done by lawmakers this year:
- Made it easier for students to enter and complete college.
- Took action to defend health care gains made in past sessions.
Expanded efforts to improve early childhood literacy.
- Enhanced training opportunities for unemployed workers.
- Protected teens and the public's safety by enacting reasonable limits on the ability to try teens in adult court.
On the budget, which passed by wide margins in both chambers, lawmakers:
- Avoided cuts to need-based aid for higher education.
- Limited cuts to overall higher education funding.
- Maintained the statewide average per-pupil funding for K-12 education.
Article posted on May 15, 2012