House Adjourns Extraordinary Session

The 89th General Assembly adjourned the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2013 just after midnight Saturday morning. The purpose of the session was to find a temporary and long-term solution to a recent spike in teacher’s health insurance. The chair of the House Education committee and the chair of the House Insurance and Commerce committee held hearings soon after the increase was announced to begin work on a solution. The Governor subsequently called a special session. During the 3 day session, the House passed a $43 million appropriation for teacher and school employee insurance. The money from surplus funds will offset the premium increases from 50% to 10% for 2014. The House also passed 3 additional bills to help find a permanent solution. The first develops a 14 member task force which will include state insurance officials and teachers. The task force will have until June 2014 to make recommendations. The second bill lowers the amount of professional development hours required by our teachers from 60 hours to 36 hours a year. The savings to the state will be directed to the insurance program. And the third bill passed redirects another $16 million a year to teacher’s insurance through savings from a school facilities program. You can view the House proceedings from the recent session in our Video Library tab located on our website.