With the 2019 Legislative Session behind us we look to what lies ahead in 2020 and as past “election-year” sessions have taught us; it promises to be an interesting one. You will recall this past session there were 3200+ bills filed and only 197, or about 6%, of the bills actually passed both houses and were sent to the governor for his signature. While there was some early concern about issues surrounding adult education, the session concluded with a modest increase in Workforce Education funding and no substantive action on anything related to adult education programs. At the national level, while the Administration had recommended drastic cuts in domestic spending, which would severely reduce the amount of federal funds for adult education (among other education programs) there seems to be little appetite for those reductions in either the House or the Senate in Washington. In fact, our programs continue to enjoy a high level of support on both sides.
The 2020 Florida Legislative process actually begins in September with committee assignments and meetings. Those meetings will continue through the Winter Holidays with the session starting in January this year instead of March. Interestingly, the 2020 Session, barring any extensions, is scheduled to conclude on March 13, just 4 days before the Florida Presidential Primary. One way or another that primary will have a huge impact on what does or does not happen between January and March with both parties trying to position themselves in a positive light.
ACE of Florida, through the ACE Champions initiative, the ACE of Florida Legislative Platform (to be presented at the ACE conference) and our local advocates are making plans to be involved in this year’s process early and often, starting with committee weeks. Stay tuned for communication about how you can help and if you are interested in becoming part of the ACE Adult Ed Champions initiative, please contact the ACE office or Dave Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Looking forward to seeing all of you at the ACE Conference in West Palm Beach next month.